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Full text of "Adam and Eve"

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ADAM AND EVE. 



BY THE AUTHOR OF 

DOROTHY FOX,' AND 'THE PRESCOTTS OF 
PAMPHILLON.' 



IN THREE VOLUMES. 
VOL. IL 




LONDON : 
RICHARD BENTLEY AND SON, 

Jlttblishcrs in (Driinary to ~g)zx ^Hitjcstt) the Queen. 

1880. 

\_All Rights Rcsej-vcd.] 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2009 with funding from 

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign 



http://www.archive.org/details/adameve02parr 







ADAM AND EYE. 




CHAPTER I. 

HE news from Jerrem turned out 
nothinof more than a vao^ue re- 
port that he had been seen at 
Jersey, waiting, it w^as said, to return by a 
vessel which traded to Weymouth. The 
man who brought the news belonged to 
the Stamp and Go, which had just arrived, 
and word had been sent to Joan by Ezekiel 
Johns, her captain, that she was not to 
expect Uncle Zebedee till she saw him, as 
VOL. II. 22 



ADAM AND EVE. 



they intended waiting in the chops of the 
Channel for an East Indiaman, which they 
had learnt from the Plymouth pilots was 
already overdue. 

This prolonged absence of the men 
would afford a good opportunity for accept- 
ing the numerous invitations which Eve's 
arrival had occasioned; and more than a 
week passed away, during which the two 
girls kept up a constant round of junket- 
ing tea-drinkings, and as several of these 
outings were at a little distance from home, 
Eve soon became quite familiar with the 
neighbourhood, and talked glibly of Pe- 
lynt, Landaviddy, Lizzen, and many other 
places, the names of which, but a short 
time before, had sounded unintelligible and 
strange to her ears. Fortunately for her 
preconceived ideas as to the right way of 
spending Sunday, an invitation had come 
from Joan's mother, Mrs. Tucker, asking 



ADAM AND EVE. 



them to spend that day at the mill ; and 
thouQ^h Joan felt most reluctant to unders^o 
such a severe penance, not seeing her 
way to a refusal, she was forced to 
accept. 

The certainty that they would have to 
go to chapel in the evening was a sufficient 
excuse in Joan's mind for not going there 
in the morning ; and she overruled Eve's 
proposal of walking to Lansallos Church 
by saying they wouldn't be back in time 
for dinner, besides which — strongest of 
arguments in Joan's eyes — there wouldn't 
be nobody there to see ; and therefore 
Eve was beguiled into believing the best 
thing they could do would be, after having 
their breakfast and settinof all straisfht, 
to walk down to the quay, so as to 
draw breath before being stuffed up with 
' they mill lot,' as Joan very irreve- 
rently styled the friends to whom on 

22—2 



ADAM AND EVE. 



Sundays Mrs. Tucker usually offered her 
hospitality. 

' I puts all I got 'pon my back whenever 
I goes to chapel,' said Joan, in explana- 
tion of the various adornments with which 
she Avas loading her attractive little person. 
' I loves to see 'em stare and then give a 
gashly look at mother ;' and she turned up 
her bright dark eyes in imitation of these 
scandalised sympathisers. 

^ But what does your mother do ?' said 
Eve, half inclined (by the lack of assurance 
she knew she should feel in accompany- 
ing Joan) to sympathise with Mrs. 
Tucker. 

' Why, enjoys it, to be sure ! Don't 
mother hang down her head, so much as to 
say, "" See what a trial I's got, and look 
how I bears it !" ' 

^ Nonsense !' laughed Eve ; ' I dare say 
she's very proud of you all the time. I 



ADAAf AND E VE. 



know/ she added, checking her laugh with 
a sigh, ' my dear mother was of me ; she 
never thought there was anybody looked 
like me.' 

' Well, she was pretty right there,' said 
Joan ; ' and if you'd only smarten yourself 
up with a bit o' colour, you'd look a right- 
down beauty ; iss, that you would ! I do 
hope mother won't die ; if 'tis only for that 
I should hate to wear nothin' but a black 
gown.' 

'■ Oh no, you wouldn't,' said Eve, gravely. 
* I used to think the same ; but now I 
wouldn't change it for the richest gown 
you could give me.' 

Joan shook her head. 

' No, I hates black,' she persisted ; 
adding, as she took a more critical survey 
of Eve, ^ Adam will have it you'm too 
pale, but I tell un, no such thing ; 'tis only 
the black that makes 'ee look so.' 



ADAM AND EVE. 



' Adam's very kind 1' said Eve, piqued 
at this candour. ^ Isn't there anything else 
about me that he can find fault with V 

' Oh, you mustn't take no notice o' he !' 
replied Joan ; ' he's always contrary 'bout 
maidens' looks, trying to pick 'em to 
pieces, and find all the faults he can with 
'em. I don't b'lieve he can help it. I 
b'lieve some is born to see crossw^ays.' 

And in her mind Joan thought Adam 
one of these, for to her surprise he had 
pooh-poohed her admiration of Eve, and 
contended against the great claim to good 
looks which Joan put in for her. 

^ For all he may say, I'd be willin' to 
change with her, though,' thought Joan, 
as, turning from the glass, her eyes fell on 
Eve, already arrayed in her black hat and 
grey duffle cloak ; and this, after the re- 
flection which Joan had just had of her 
bright little self, was certainly no small 



ADAM AND EVE. 



compliment — a compliment which was not 
paid to Eve by many of the girls with 
whom, in their walk to the quay and then 
to Chapel Rock, they chanced to meet ; 
for Joan was a general favourite, and her 
style of dress, according to Polperro tastes, 
was perfection — everything of the best, and 
plenty of it. So, as the little figure pattered 
down the street, looking like some bright- 
plumage d bird, her van i by was tickled by, 
* Why, where be you off to, Joan ? Well, 
you'm dressed out, and no mistake 1' 
' Here, I say, Joan, step in and let's have 
a look at 'ee 1 Awh, you be lookin' smart, 
for sure !' But Joan was deaf to all en- 
treaties ; she walked on through the street 
and past the houses, which, except that 
they were more than usually filled with 
idle loungers, presented none of the 
orderly appearance usually conspicuous on 
Sundays, neither did any air of calm quiet 



ADAM AND EVE. 



rest upon the place or people ; on the con- 
trary, they seemed unusually noisy and 
uproarious : the same bustle pervaded the 
quay, the same smell of fish-cleaning 
offended the nose ; and though Eve could 
not point to any one, and say they were 
actually working, yet she saw no reason to 
suppose they had by any means laid aside 
their everyday vocations. 

^j the rock they found the men 
grouped together, discussing the proba- 
bility of a change of weather, the signs of 
the fish rising, and the manoeuvres of Old 
Boney ; the youngsters were indulging in 
rough practical jokes and skylarking, until 
Joan and Eve making their appearance, 
their attention was at once directed to- 
wards them. But, tr}^ as they might, Joan 
was equal to their banter or their compli- 
ments, both of which she managed to pay 
back, much to her own satisfaction and 



ADAM AND EVE. » 

their amusement ; till at last, induced by 
Eve's showing that they should be late 
for dinner, she consented to take her de- 
parture ; and, forbidding her admirers to 
come farther than the steps, she there 
bade them adieu, and left them to decide 
among themselves that Joan Hocken was 
a sweet and purty dear, and worth twenty 
o' that stuck-up London consarn, with her 
pasty face and mim ways. 

' I reckon we'd best step out a bit,' said 
Joan, now fully alive to the danger of 
keeping the dinner waiting. ^ What a 
bother 'tis havin' to toil all the ways to 
Crumplehorn ! I'd sooner any day than 
Sunday at mother's.' 

^ I don't know,' said Eve ; ' I'm rather 
glad we're going there. I've been used, 
you know, to spend my Sundays very 
quietly — to church or chapel and back, 
morning and evening.' 



10 ADAM AND EVE. 

' Lors r exclaimed Joan, ' there was a 
good deal o' the same thing in that, wasn't 
there % Didn't 'ee get tired of it at all, 
Eve?' 

* No ;' then, remembering how often she 
had grown weary over the dull monotony 
of the day, whose perfect rest was irksome 
to her vigorous youth, she added, * or if I 
did, I'd give a good deal if they'd but come 
back again now, Joan.' 

* Poor dear 1' said Joan, touched by the 
tearful voice; ^but never mind, next Sunday 
us'll go to church if you cares for it — to 
Talland Church, and come home by the 
cliff all alongside by the sea : you'll like 
that, won't 'ee ?' 

Eve squeezed the hand which Joan put 
into hers, and after a little silence she said : 

* But don't think that I'm not happy 
here, Joan. I feel so different that I can 
hardly tell myself for the same. I seem 



ADAM AND EVE. 11 

to be so at home here, so as not to care for 
anybody but those I've got round me.' 
* Awh, come, that ain't fair/ said Joan. 

* " When from William I parted, 
I vowed I'd keep true." 

Oh lors !' she exclaimed, stifling her voice. 

* I forgot 'twas Sunday, and that we're close 

to mill, where ' — and she folded her hands 

and cast down her eyes with a prim look of 

propriety — 

* "Maidens should be mild and meek, 
Swift to hear and slow to speak." ' 

After which, flinging open the gate, she 
gave Eve a sudden push which sent her 
forward with a most undignified bounce 
into the presence of Mrs. Tucker, who was 
standing at the door ready to receive them. 

' Oh, here you be then,' said Mrs. Tucker, 
with, as Eve thought, a shade of disap- 
pointment in her voice. ' I didn't expect 
'ee yet awhiles ; I was on the look-out for 
Mr. Blamey and Susannah. I never ex- 



12 ADAA^ AND EVE. 

pects Joan to be in time ; I always says 
'twouldn't be Joan if folks wasn't kep' 
waitin' while dinner's spoilin'.' 

'And it ain't Joan now, mother,' said 
her daughter, promptly. ' You've got to 
thank Eve for seein' me. I shouldn't ha' 
hove in sight for another half-hour to come 
if 't hadn't bin for she.' 

'Well, one thing is, if I'd took the 
trouble to walk so far as the corner, I 
should ha' know'd you was comin',' re- 
torted Mrs. Tucker. ^I'm bound to say 
nobody who wasn't denied the blessin' o' 
eyesight but must see you, if 'twas a mile 
away, Joan. I can't think,' she added, 
taking advantage of the opportunity af- 
forded by following the girls into the 
house to give their dress a critical survey, 
^ why, if you'm so wrapped up in Eve as 
you pretends to be, you don't take what 
she wears for a pattern.' 



ADAM AND E VE. 1 3 

* Why how can I do that, and you Hvin' 
all the whiles X said Joan, with an air of 
injured innocence. ' You ain't wan tin to 
see me in mournin' for 'ee fore you'm dead, 
be 'ee V 

' Death ain't no subject for cuttin' jokes 
upon,' said Mrs. Tucker, supplying a 
rebuke for lack of a retort ; ' and as there'll 
be friends present, I do hope you'll be a 
little becomin' in your talk, Joan, on a 
Sabbath day of all others.' Then, without 
giving Joan time to reply, she began in- 
quiring about Uncle Zebedee and Adam, 
and how long they were likely to be absent. 
*And what do ye think o' your cousin. 
Eve 1' she asked. 

' I have seen so little of him,' said Eve, 
evasively. 

' Why, they only come home, as you may 
say, to go away agen,' explained Joan. 
' Eve didn't see nothin' of Adam but the 
one cvenin'.' 



1 4 ADAM AND E VE. 

Mrs. Tucker sighed : 

^ Ah !' she said, * I saw the sodgers go 
past, and come back again/ 

^ Iss ; no wiser than they was afore, 
though,' laughed Joan. 

' Don't laugh, Joan/ said her mother. 

'Why, you wouldn't have me cry 'cos 
they was balked, would 'ee ?' 

* They won't alius be balked,' said Mrs. 
Tucker ; ' luck don't last for ever, and the 
sins of the father often falls heavy on the 
childern.' 

* Oh, well,' retorted Joan, ' if Adam's 
back ain't bowed down with nothin' heavier 
than the sins uncle'll lay 'pon it, he'll walk 
upright to the end of his days. But there, 
mother,' she added, catching sight of Eve's 
face, ' don't let's begin a cavil — tliat ain't 
becomin' o' Sundays, nor no other days ; 
and Eve here's bin lookin' forward to spend 
the day with 'ee, 'cos hers bin allays used 
to quiet Sundays.' 



ADAM AND EVE. 15 

This discernment on the part of Eve as 
to the visible difference between the two 
households, diverted Mrs. Tucker from her 
dismal forebodings into questioning her 
guest on the usual habits of herself and 
her mother, until the arrival of Mr. and 
Mrs. Blarney engrossed her attention, and 
Eve and Joan were left to their own de- 
vices. Too thorough a housekeeper to 
allow her mind to wander from the dinner, 
which, having provided, she wished to see 
appreciated, Mrs. Tucker's next efforts 
were centred on helping the dishes to the 
best advantage, and proportioning the 
supply to each persons requirements; a 
task so onerous that, the meal over, she was 
not sorry to be left quietly alone with her 
elderly friends, and therefore raised no 
objection to her stepson Sammy accom- 
panying Joan and Eve into the orchard,, 
where he was directed to find a sheltered 



16 ADAAI AND EVE. 

spot, that they might sit down and enjoy 
the apples which lay in yellow heaps under 
most of the trees. The two girls occupied 
the gnarled root of a withered trunk, 
while Sammy, having ascertained that the 
grass was too ' vady ' for him to sit down 
upon, took up his position at the nearest 
tree which he leaned against, chewing the 
-end of a flower-stalk, and casting looks of 
sidelong admiration at Joan. 

' Here, where's your knife to V exclaimed 
Joan, stretching out her hand for a fresh 
apple which she selected with particular 
care ; ^ I wants to skin one. Did 'ee ever 
try that. Eve '?' 

* Try what,' said Eve, recalling her 
drowsy attention. 

' Why, to skin a apple without a-breakin ' 
it, and throw the peelin' over yer shoulder 
to see what letter it makes % I'm goin' 
to do this wan;' and she began to care- 



ADAM AND EVE, 17 



fully set about the task. * Whatever letter 
€omes is the first letter o' your sweetheart's 
name. There/ she exclaimed, giving the 
requisite twirl before jerking the apple- 
peel over her shoulder. * Look, Eve, what 
is it, eh V 

* Well, I can hardly tell,' said Eve ; ' 'tis 
something like a C, and yet it's like a Q.' 

^ I knaws 'tis a S,' and Sammy directed 
an unmistakable leer towards Joan. 

' A S spells Ass,' said Joan, snappishly. 

* Naw, it doan't,' sniggered Sammy ; 
' 't wants another S for he.' 

* Well, then, you go and stand there/ 
said Joan, * then 'twill be all complete, word 
and picter too. Here, I'm full,' she added, 
chucking away the apple in disgust. ^ Now 
what else could we do ? Ain't there no 
place else for us to go to, eh, stupid ?' 

* There's the mill,' suggested Sammy, 
'but he ain't a doin' nothin', you knaw.' 

VOL. II. 23 



18 ADAM AND EVE. 

^Niver mind, for want o' better let's 
have a look at 'un. Have 'ee ever seen the 
inside of a mill, Eve ?' 

Eve never had, and, though perfectly 
ignorant of what she was to see, expressed 
her desire of seeing it ; and up they got, 
Joan leading them by a way that should 
avoid Mrs. Tucker interposing her dictum 
against such an adventure. A gap in the 
orchard hedo^e brousfht them to a field of 
rank grass, at the far end of which was the 
stream which ran down to the mill-wheel, 
where Eve was for stopping to gaze at the 
fringe of maiden-hair and the great clumps 
of hart's-tongue which peeped out amid 
the blackness of the crevices. The clumsy 
key, red with rust, hung on a nail outside 
the small door, which, for the greater con- 
venience of dropping down the sacks, had 
a sliding shuttered entrance. Sammy took 
down the key, and then dehberately took 



ADAM AND EVE. 19 

off his coat and waistcoat and hung them 
on the naih 

' Why, what do you do that for ?' said 
Eve. 

' 'Cos of the flour,' said Joan, an appre- 
hension creeping over her that she had 
made rather a fooHsh j^roposal. However, as 
they had o'ot so far they might as well go 
on ; but as a precaution she added, * Best 
take your gown up around 'ee, Eve. I 
shall put mine over my head,' and she 
suited the action to her words. 

Seeing them thus prepared, Sammy 
opened the door — whish-h-h ! — and up rose 
a cloud of flour-dust. 

* They's rats, I reckon,' he said, leading 
the way into an all but dark space, with no- 
thing visible except white sacks and barrels. 

' Oh I I hope there ain't any rats here 
now,' exclaimed Eve ; ' I can't bear rats.' 

* Can't 'ee V said Sammy, with some sur- 

23—2 



20 ADAM AND EVE. 

prise. ' Us caught five and twenty here 
last week, and they's no thin' to what 
there's up aloft.' 

' Then I shan't go there/ said Eve, pre- 
paring to beat a retreat. ' Joan !' But Joan, 
who was already half-w^ay up the ladder 
which opened into the upper story, called 
out : 

^ Nonsense, Eve ! don't pay no heed to 
wdiat he says. Come along with roe.' 

* Wan at a time,' interposed Sammy, ^ 'cos 
Bill Wyatt's a put his — ' but before Sammy 
could get out the word ' foot,' a cloud of 
dust was thrown into the air, and the heels 
of two shoes were sticking through the 
ladder. Eve gave a scream, Sammy sprang 
forw^ard, but too late. Joan, not having been 
warned in time, had missed her footing on 
the broken rung of the ladder, and being 
encumbered by the careful enveloping of 
her gown, had tumbled headlong into a 



ADAM AND E VE. 21 

cask of flour. To recover her was the 
work of a minute, and before the cloud had 
time to disperse or Eve could advance near 
enough to offer her assistance, Joan, only 
waiting to give herself a hasty shake, had 
attacked the unlucky Sammy like a fury, 
nor did she stop until forced to do so by 
want of breath ; then, as if this explosion of 
her temper had expended her wrath, she 
burst into a fit of lauHiter, exclaiminsf : 

' I say, what do I look like ? whatever 
will mother say % No, my dear saw], don't 
'ee, for goodness' sake, come anighst me ; 
'tis enough for one of us to look like a 
flour-bag.' 

^ Oh, Joan, you ain't hurt ?' said Eve. 

' Lord, no, I ain't hurt ; but I've a made 
that great lutterputch feel the weight o' me 
hand, though. Don't you come a near me,' 
she called out to Sammy, who stood beat- 
\M^X his arms too^ether in his vain endeavour 



22 ADAM AND EVE. 

to free himself from the flour, ' or I won't 
leave a whole bone in yer ugly body.' 

' What had we best do 1' said Eve. 
* You're covered all over; your hair's as full 
of flour as if 'twas powdered.' 

' I can't tell what to do,' said Joan, hope- 
lessly ; * I shouldn't mind if 'twasn't for 
mother, but there'll be no stoppin' of her. 
Here, I'll tell 'ee what 'tis,' she exclaimed, 
with sudden inspiration ; ^ I must make out 
that I'm ahurt somewheres in my insides, 
and every time she opens her mouth to 
spake, I'll raise a groan. Here !' she called 
out to Sammy. * You be ofl* in, and tell 
mother I've afalled down in the mill- 
house, and you think I'm hurt terrible bad.' 

Sam hesitated for a moment, but a move- 
ment forward from Joan sent him away 
like a rocket, and before Eve could suggest 
any more truthful evasion by which Mrs. 
Tucker's anger could be averted^ to their 



ADAM AND EVE. 23 

dismay she was seen running towards them, 
with Mr. and Mrs. Blarney following in 
the rear. ^ So well be killed for a sheep as 
a lamb,' said Joan, with a doleful look at 
the sorry plight of her smart dress ; so 
down she flopped on the stones, by which 
mancBuvre Mrs. Tucker's first view of her 
was half- lying on the ground, with her face 
as white as her own kerchief. 

Now Sammy — wise in his generation — 
had merely popped his head in at the door 
and curtailed his announcement into : 
' Joan's down by the mill : her's hurt her- 
self terrible bad ;' and by the time Mrs. 
Tucker had got to the door, Sam had dis- 
appeared, leaving her fears to increase with 
each step she took, until at the sight of 
Joan pale and prostrate they culminated in 
an outburst of motherly tenderness, which 
made her rush forward, throw her arms 
round her daughter, and exclaim : 



24 ADAM AND E VE. 

^ Awli, my dear ! whatever have 'ee done 
to yourself?' and when a minute after 
Joan extricated herself from the embrace, 
it was to see the tears trickling down her 
mother s face. 

' Mother, don't 'ee ; I ain't hurt a bit,*" 
cried Joan. ^ I would go into the mill, and 
I fell smack through the ladder into a cask 
of flour. Iss, you may scold now so much as 
you will, I don't care a bit ; for I wouldn't 
ha' believed afore you cared half so much 
for me.' 

Mrs. Tucker turned to Eve, who tried 
to give some further explanation ; then she 
asked Joan again if she was sure she hadn't 
hurt herself anywhere, and finally sug- 
gested they should go in and see if they 
couldn't rid her of the flour ; but in all this 
she gave her daughter no word of re- 
proach. 

' Whatever shall I do about goin' ta 



ADAM AND E VE. 25 

chapel V said Joan, as the clock warned 
them it was time to get ready. ' I've 
brushed till my arms ache, but my things 
is still like a millard's/ 

' I'll stay home with you,' said Eve. 

' Will 'ee ? that's a dear ; and,' she added, 
with a propitiatory look towards her mother, 
' us'll have down the big Bible and read 
chapters verse by verse.' 

' 'Tis very good of you to offer. Eve/ 
said Mrs. Tucker, * but I've bin to a place 
o' worship once to-day, and you haven't, so 
I'll stop with Joan, and you go off to 
chapel with Mrs. Blamey.' And so the 
matter was settled, and as Joan said when 
they finally returned home : ' There's what 
you do thhik and what you don't think, for 
if anybody 'ed a told me that 'stead o' 
showin' off to chapel, I should ha' sat at 
home quiet with mother, I wouldn't ha 
beheved it.' 



26 ADAM AND EVE. 

' And she seemed to have enjoyed the 
evening/ said Eve. 

' Awh, well ! I don't know about that/ 
replied Joan, doubtingly. ^ I dare say her 
wished herself to chapel, but I didn't ; for 
mother's a bootiful reader, and the Bible's 
a wonderful Book.' 




CHAPTEE II. 




HE next week passed away and 
another was nearly at its close, 
and yet Joan and Eve remained 
alone — no tidings had come of the Lotterij, 
Joan was not in the least uneasy, yet she 
kept wondering what could be the reason 
of their unexplained delay, until, having 
come to the end of all other conjectures, 
she finally settled down to the belief that 
they must have given up the Indiaman, 
and gone across to Guernsey. However, 
one afternoon, as the two girls were dis 



28 ADAM AND EVE, 

cussing the advisability of accepting an 
invitation from Ann Lisbeth to join her 
and her cousin Jessie, the door opened, and 
in walked Adam. 

' Ah/ he said, in answer to the visible 
surprise his sudden appearance had created, 
' I thought I should catch you napping. 
You didn't expect to see me, did you ?' 

^ No, indeed we didn't,' said Joan, who 
had jumped up and ran forward to meet 
him ; ^ but I'm so glad you'm come, 
Adam 1 Why, where's uncle ? Wherever 
have 'ee bin to all this long whiles ? I 
thought you was never comin' back no 
more. Why, however could the boat have 
come in, and me not to know it !' 

' There isn't any boat in yet,' said 
Adam. 

' What, uncle not come ?' 

' No ; he won't be here till to-morrow, 
or perhaps next day. A pilot boat landed 



ADAM AND EVE. 29 

me at Plymouth, then I rode so far as 
Looe, and walked the rest.* 

During this speech Adam had advanced 
towards Eve, had taken her hand, and, to 
her annoyance, while he was speaking still 
kept hold of it ; after one ineffectual effort 
at withdrawal, she let it remain passive, 
until, having finished what he was saying 
to Joan, he turned, and for the first time 
looking fixedly at her, said : 

' Well, Cousin Eve V 

* Well, Cousin Adam V 

' You haven't said that you're glad to 
see me yet.' 

* Oh, haven't I ? but surely you do not 
need me to say so ?' 

* Yes, but I do/ said Adam, tightening 
his hold of her hand. ' Now, look up at 
me and say, '^ Adam, I'm glad you've 
come back." ' 

Eve did as she was bidden, and raising 



30 ADAM AND EVE. 

a perfectly expressionless face, said, as a 
parrot might : 

* Adam, I'm glad you've come back/ 

' That's right,' he laughed, giving her a 
somewhat significant shake of the head ; 
then, turning to Joan, he asked if she 
wasn't going to give him something to eat. 

^ What would 'ee like V said Joan ; ' us 
has had our dinners, and I was waitin' for 
the kettle to boil to make a cuj) o' tay.' 

^ That'll suit me exactly. I don't want 
nothing much as yet ; I had some sort of a 
meal at Looe.' 

Joan went into the kitchen to make her 
preparations, and Adam, taking a chair, 
seated himself at a little distance from 
Eve. 

' Have you been for any more moonlight 
rambles '?' he said, after he had sat watch- 
ing her for a few minutes. 

* No,' answered Eve, opening her work- 



ADAM AND EVE. 31 

box, and searching in it for the materials 
to do some darning. 

' How is that ?' and he edged the chair 
a bit nearer. 

' Because I haven't cared to, I s pose,' 
said Eve, assuming an air of indifference, 
which visibty contrasted with the great 
interest she took in finding the various 
articles for her needlework. 

' You're very busy there,' continued 
Adam, and Eve knew by his voice that 
he must be leaning over the table towards 
her. ' What is it you are about, eh V 

' Darning the crown of my cap/ she 
said, endeavouring to appear as composed 
as she desired to be. 

* Let me see ;' his hand was stretched 
out until it touched hers. 

* There's nothing to see in it ; it's only a 
common cap-crown,' she said, holding it out 
for his inspection. 



32 ADAM AND EVE. 

Adam took hold of the piece of net, 
fingering it with an air of abstraction, 
while he kept his eyes fixed on Eve, who, 
knowing that in another minute Joan 
would reappear, wished from her heart 
that he would move himself farther away. 
Raising her eyes with an effort, for, strive 
as she would. Eve had only been able to 
meet Adam's gaze with simulated com- 
posure, she said : 

' When you've quite done with that, I 
shall be glad to go on with my work/ 

* Where's the lace for it ?' said Adam, 
seemingly struck by a sudden inspira- 
tion. 

* Lace ! it hasn't got any lace ;' and Eve 
snatched the cap away from him. 

' But you'd like it to have lace ?' said 
Adam. * Come, now,' he added, ' all 
women love lace, don't they '?' 

* I don't know about all women,' she 



ADAM AND EVE. 33 

said. ' I suppose many do, or I shouldn't 
have got a hving by mendmg lace/ 

* All, I forgot that. Then you must be 
a bit of a judge. Wait a minute, now, 
and I'll bring you down some I've got up- 
stairs that I brought home from France 
with me. You shall tell me what you 
think of that !' 

As fetchino^ this involved movini^ from 
his present close proximity, Eve made no 
opposition, and he had only just got out of 
the room when Joan appeared, bringing 
the tea-things. The kettle was found to 
be boiling, so that when Adam returned 
the two girls were seated at the table. At 
siofht of Joan Adam's face chano-ed : when 
he had gone upstairs he had forgotten the 
probability of her coming back. However, 
there was no help for it now. The lace 
was in his hand, so, with no seeming em- 

voL. II. 24 



34 ADAM AND E VE. 

barrassment, he threw it on the table 
before Eve, saying as he did so : 

* There, is that good for anything ?' 

The lace was a piece of Brussels point 
of the rarest make and finest descrip- 
tion. 

' My dear life T exclaimed Joan, as Eve 
held it up. ' Wherever did 'ee get that, 
Adam ? Why, 'tis like a spider's web !' 

' Yes,' said Eve, examining the delicacy 
of the groundwork and the evenness of the 
stitches ; ^ isn't it lovely '?' 

^ Ah !' and Adam gave a deep-drawn 
breath ; ^ then it's the right sort of thing, 
is it ? They told me 'twouldn't be easy to 
match it this side of the Channel.' 

^ I don't think I ever saw anything so 
perfect !' continued Eve, carrying on her 
inspection with the enjoyment of a con- 
noisseur. ' Look at that stitch, Joan, and 
the one there !' 



ADAAf AND E VE. 35 



* And the colour !' put in Joan. ' Awh, 
'tis downright splendid !' 

' Then you like it ? said Adam, address- 
ing Eve. 

* Like it !' returned both of the girls ; 
'it's beautiful!' 

* Ain't there two pieces ?' said Adam, 
leaning over to put aside the paper. 

^ Yes, but all the same pattern ; it's the 
cap and ruffles, you know,' explained Eve, 
spreading the first piece out preparatory to 
folding it. 

' Then it's worth having ? said Adam. 

Joan was going to answer, but happening 
to look up, she saw that his question was 
pointedly addressed to Eve. 

' What r said Eve. 

' Should you think it's worth having ? 

* Certainly ; if I were you I should lock 
it away most carefully,' replied Eve, speak- 
ing very rapidly, and giving a rather 

24—2 



36 ADAM AND EVE. 

hurried twist to the paper in which the 
lace now lay folded. 

Then he said, shutting her hand upon it 
and gently pushing it towards her : 

^ Keep it for your cap. I brought it 
down on purpose for you.' 

' For me, Adam ? Oh no !' and Eve 
gave a decisive shake of the head. ^ I 
couldn't think of taking it. You forget 
how different my dress is. I shouldn't 
presume to wear lace Hke that ; besides, if 
I did — I — anyway, thank you for offering 
it, but I could not accept such a gift from 
you.' 

'^ And for what reason V he said. ^ Joan 
accepts presents from me, and why not youf 

' Oh, Joan's quite different to me.' 

' Not at all ; a cousin's a cousin, whether 
by mother or father.' 

^ Yes, I know ;' and Eve hesitated, as 
she strove to find the right words in which 



yiDAM AND E VE. 37 

to frame her denial. ^ I feel you mean it 
very kindly, and I am much obliged to 
you ; but I cannot take it ;' and she put 
the lace, which Adam had again opened 
and unrolled, resolutely over to his 
side. 

' Why, what nonsense it is, Eve !' put in 
Joan ; ' if Adam didn't wish 'ee to take it, 
he wouldn't offer it to 'ee.' 

' Oh, she means to take it !' said Adam, 
with a little incredulous laugh. * You 
women are all alike. All the time you're 
saying No, you only mean Yes.' 

' Indeed,' said Eve, nettled by the im- 
putation, ' I think you'll find me an excep- 
tion to that rule.' 

Adam shook his head. 

' Oh, there's no need to argue about 
it,' she said quietly ; ^ but there's your 
lace.' 

He pushed it back ; Eve allowed it to 



38 ADAM AND EVE. 

stay for a moment, then she put it away 
from her with a more determined move- 
ment. 

^ Come, nonsense, Eve !' he said, in a 
tone of rising vexation. ' The thing isn't 
worth half the fuss you've made about it 
already. The lace isn't of any use to me ; 
I don't wear ruffles and cap -borders, but 
I like to see my women-folk in them, so 
take it and say no more about it ;' and 
with the air of one who had disarmed 
further opposition, he turned to Joan and 
said, ' Well, and how did you get on after 
we left ? 

* Capital r replied Joan. ' The sodgers 
was a fresh lot, and such a set o' jolly 
greens as you never cast eyes upon ! All 
they could think of was racin' up and 
down stairs, and openin' and shuttin' the 
cupboard doors.' 

^What did Eve think of it all?' he 



ADAAf AND EVE, 39 



said, wondering by what explanation 
Joan had satisfied her naturally aroused 
curiosity. 

' Eve behaved herself beautiful/ said 
Joan. ' She did good service, I can tell 'ee, 
and kept the sharpest of 'em by her side 
all the time.' 

* Why, how was that V said Adam, 
quickly. 

' I'm sure I can't tell,' replied Joan, ^ 't 
couldn't ha' bin for what he seed to look 
at in her,' and she cast a pleasant glance 
over to Eve. 

' I hope, Joan, that you don't make too 
free with those men,' said Adam, sharply ; 
* 'tis all very well to be ready with an 
answer, but you should ' 

' Oh, teach your granny !' said Joan ; 
' don't tell me ! If I don't know how to 
trate a passel o' sodgers and throw 'em off 
the scent, I don't know who should, and 



40 ADAM AND EVE. 

bin up to the game ever since I Avas five 
year old.' 

Adam gave a meaning frown, which 
Joan answered by saying in a low 
voice : 

* No ; now it's o' no good trying to mask 
the thing from her ; she knows all about it. 
Why, now, how was I to help tellin' her'?' 
she added, seeing his displeasure. ^ Tis all 
very well to talk, but unless anybody's a 
born fule, they knaws if you hadn't got 
sommat to hide, nobody wouldn't be sent 
to seek it ; 'tis foolishness tryin' to make a 
mystery of a thing that's so plain to see 
as the naws on yer face.' 

' Oh, I might have known you'd make a 
mess of it,' he said, pushing back his chair 
from the table, and going to the mantel- 
piece to help himself to a paper spill, a 
bundle of which was stuck into the arm of 
a Chelsea shepherd. 



ADAM AND EVE. 41 

' Take no notice/ whispered Joan, as she 
and Eve rose to clear away the tea-things. 
' I 'spects he wanted to tell 'ee hisself. 
T s'pose you'll be ready for some supper, 
Adam T she said. 

^ Well, I s'pose I shall,' he answered, 
without turning round. * I told you I 
hadn't had a regular dinner ; they'd only 
some salt pork to give me at Looe.' 

* All right, then I'll try and see w^hat I 
can get for 'ee.' And going into the kitchen, 
she said to Eve : * I'm goin' to run down 
to Barrett's for a minute, and see what 
they've got. I'm blessed if I know what to 
give un : whatever 'tis, 'tis certain to be 
the wrong: thins: ;' and she crossed her 
fingers to signify the state of Adam's 
temper. 

' I shouldn't put myself out about him,' 
said Eve, with a contemptuous little move- 
ment of her lips. 



42 ADAM AND EVE, 



' No, I believe you wouldn't/ said Joan, 
^ and I'll be bound he'd ate whatever you 
set before un. But there, as I've made my 
bed so I must lie upon 'en ;' and having by 
this time provided herself wdth a basket 
and a dish, she opened the door and went 
out. Eve finished washing the tea-things, 
lingering over them as long as she could ; 
and then, as these, together with the spoons 
and teapot, were kept in the sitting-room, 
she took them in, put them in their place, 
opened the door and was on the first step 
going upstairs, Avhen Adam called out : 

^ Eve, don't leave that lying about here,' 
and he pointed to the small packet on the 
table ; ' take it up with you, and put it 
away in your box.' His voice betrayed the 
temj)er he was trying to subdue, making 
his words seem more like a command than 
an entreaty. 

' I have told you, Adam,' said Eve, turn- 



ADAM AND EVE. 43 

ing round, * that I'm not going to accept 
the lace.' 

' And why not ? Why shouldn't you 
accept the lace ? Are you going to tell me 
that no man's ever given you a present be- 
fore — is that it, eh V 

* No, it isn't it !' she said, her face 
reddening at the allusion he made. 
' Although such a question hasn't anything 
to do with it ; it's enough for you that, 
though I'm much obhged to you, I'd rather 
not accept it.' 

^ Oh, indeed I Then you can take pre- 
sents from others, but you can't from your 
own cousin. I ought to be very much 
obliged to you for the distinction you 
make.' 

' Oh, it isn't always that we've such a 
high opinion of our own relations,' retorted 
Eve. ' Sometimes we think they ain't 
worthy of being trusted, and refuse to let 



44 ADAM AND EVE. 

them be told what they happen to know 
already.' 

^ You know ! how did you know V 

^Simply because after what took place 
the other evening, before I went to bed, 
my wonder was aroused so that when I 
awoke and found everything silent, and 
Joan not there, I got frightened and crept 
downstairs. Yes,' she continued, with a 
laugh at the expression on his face, ' 'twas 
a pity, as you took the trouble to lock one 
door, you hadn't remembered there was 
another way down.' 

Now this accusation, which from Eve 
was but a bow drawn at a venture, went 
home, for Adam had actually locked the 
door in question. 

* Confound your woman's curiosity !' he 
said, with a half-confused laugh ; then 
coming towards her, he added : 'But you 
mustn't be vexed with me for that, Eve ; it 



ADAM AND EVE. 45 

wasn't for want of trust that I wouldn't 
have you told. I can't explain it now, but 
some da}" when we're quietly together, I'll 
make it all clear to you.' 

^ Of course,' she said, in an aggrieved 
tone, ' it's not pleasant to feel you're in 
the house of those who can't put con- 
fidence ' 

' Xo, no ! Now, my dear girl,' he inter- 
rupted, ^ you are quite on the wrong 
tack there ; don't think any more of it in 
that way. I'm sure,' he added, in a soft- 
ened tone, ^ if I've vexed you, I am very 
sorry. Come, Eve !' and he laid his hand 
on her shoulder. * Come, I can't say more 
than that, can I V 

^ No,' she said. 

* Then you'll forgive me ; won't you V 
' Yes.' 

* And we're friends again now ; ain't 
we V 



46 ADAM AND E VE. 

' I suppose so.' 

* You suppose so ! Now look into my 
face and tell me so ;' and he put his hand 
under her chin, and with a gentle force 
raised her face almost to a level with his 
own. ' Now I shan't let you go,' he said, 
* until you look at me. Oh, I'm in no 
hurry — I have plenty to look at here ;' and 
Eve felt his eyes more bent upon her as 
he began, with assumed interest, to study 
her downcast face. ^ How dark your eye- 
lashes are !' he said ; ' and you haven't a 

bad nose, and if your mouth were ' but 

here Eve's risibility threatened to over- 
come her, and hoping to hide the dawning 
smile which was making her lips quiver, 
she tried to free herself, saying as she gave 
her head a little twist : 

* Adam, I wish you wouldn't.' 

' Wouldn't whaf?' and while her chin was 
tilted a trifle farther up, the hand which 



ADAM AND EVE. 47 



was laid on her arm tiirlitenecl its 
hold. 

'Now don't be silly, Adam/ and Eve 
made another fruitless attempt at a 
struo-ale. 

^ How silly V he said. 

' Oh, Adam !' and this time the voice 
and the face pleaded together, ^ please let 
me go ; do !' 

' Why should I let you go ?' he said, 
bending forward until his face all but 
touched hers. * Eh, tell me that V 

* Because,' and Eve felt the whole of 
her strength had flown to her heart, the 
rapid beating of which seemed to choke her 
further utterance. ' Because ' 

' Because what V and Adam's voice was 
changed to a whisper, which seemed to give 
the echo to her ovm emotion. 

' Because you've ' but before the 

sentence could be finished, Eve had flown 



48 ADAM AND EVE. 

upstairs and was listening to Adam say- 
ing : 

' What the devil do you come in like 
that at the door for ?' 

^ Why, what do 'ee mane ?' exclaimed 
Joan. ' Come into the door for ! do 'ee 
want folks to come down the chimley, then ? 
Lord, we'm turned narvical all to wance, 
I should think ; but there,' she continued, 
swinging the cupboard door and making 
a great clatter with the things, ^ you 
needn't put yerself out that I'm goin' to 
be wan in the w^ay. I've got to get supper 
ready ;' and she slammed the kitchen door 
after her with a force that shook all the 
windows and doors in the house. Filled 
by a sense of vexation. Eve hesitated as to 
what she should do ; she felt a little shame- 
faced about just then confronting Joan, not 
being quite sure whether or not she had 
seen her. StiU, to go down and sit alone 



ADAM AND EVE, 49 

with Adam, she would not ; so she fidgeted 
about the room in uneasy indecision, until 
to her great rehef the front door opened 
and closed, and she heard Adam leave the 
house, then she plucked up courage to go 
downstairs and say : 

^ Let me help you, Joan ?' 

* Xo, there's nothing to help in,' returned 
Joan, rather curtly ; ' 'sides which Tabithy 
is here to do all that's wanted.' 

' Are you going to make a pie V asked 
Eve, seeing Joan take off her worked 
muslin apron and substitute in its stead a 
large Holland wrapper. 

* Yes, us 'uU want some for to-morrow.' 

' But you needn't do them now,' said 
Eve. 

' So well do that as anythin' else,' re- 
plied Joan. 

' Then let me peel the apples f 

' No ; now I'd rather you'd go inside and 

VOL. II. 25 



50 ADAM AND EVE. 

sit down, Eve/ and Joan tried to take the 
apple-basket from her. 

'And I'd rather stay here with you, 
Joan.' 

' Well, I don't want 'ee,' said Joan ; ' and 
if Adam comes back, he'll fancy I've set 
'ee to work to spite un.' 

' Adam can think what he pleases,' said 
Eve ; ^ but if I don't stay here I shan't sit 
in there with him.' 

' I'm sure he or anybody else is welcome 
to do what pleased 'em best, and as pleases 
'em best, for me,' continued Joan, forced 
by the presence of Tabithy to make the 
allusions to her grievance rather enig- 
matical, ' only nobody likes to be swored 
at for w^alkin' in at the door when they'm 
as inicent as a babe unborn that they'm 
not wanted.' 

* Well, don't say you weren't wanted by 
me, Joan.' 



ADAM AND EVE. 51 



' I don't say nothin' about you. I 

^vasn't ' but the sound of the raised latch 

made her silent, and through the now open 
kitchen door they saw Adam come in, 
move about the room, go upstairs, come 
<iown again and finally enter the kitchen. 
* Now, I don't want Eve here,' said Joan ; 
' so if she's aminded to go, she'll only be 
doing what I've axed her to from the first.' 

Adam laughed. 

' I should take advantage of that, Eve,' 
he said ; ' it's a pity to intrude yourself 
where you're not wanted.' 

' Then perhaps,' said Eve, ' you'll go, for 
Joan and I were getting on very well 
alone.' 

' Oh, all right,' and off he went. 

' I wish to goodness / could give 'en a 
slap with my tongue,' said Joan ; ^ I can 
with most of 'em, but he puts me in that 
passion that when I can't find words to 

25—2 

LIBRARY 

UNiVERSITY OF llffNni!? 



52 ADAM AND EVE. 

answer 'en in, I could fly at 'en like a 
tiger-cat.' 

' Well, he's gone now,' said Eve, ' and 
let's hope he won't come back till supper- 
time.' But the hope was vain ; in less than 
half an hour Adam was back again, trying 
by a dozen artifices to get Eve into the 
sitting-room ; but no, away from Joan's 
side she would not stir, and Joan seemed 
bent on making enough pies and pasties to 
victual a fleet. At last his temper could 
stand it no longer, and upon Eve distinctly 
refusing to allow him any opportunity of 
speaking to her alone, he flung himself out 
of the house with a heartily expressed wish 
that he hadn't been such a fool as to leave 
Plymouth. 

^ There, don't let's have no more of it,' 
said Joan, as she listened to his departing 
footsteps ; * if he comes back agen, go in 
and sit with 'en like a dear. 'Tis o' no use 



ADAM AND EVE. 53 

contendin', if he's made up his mind to 

it; 

' Isn't it !' said Eve ; ' that's the way 
you've spoilt him, Joan. A pretty thing if 
he's to have his way always ; he won't from 
me, I can tell him.' 

Joan gave an audible sigh. 

' What a world it is !' she said dolefully, 
as she dusted her arms free from the flour 
preparatory to washing her hands and 
taking off her cooking-apron. ' Here, let's 
go and sit in th'other room, Eve. We may 
just so well, for I've got no heart to do 
nothin' more this evening ; and Tabithy'll 
bring in the supper things when we'm 
ready for 'em.' 

Thus it happened that when, about an 
hour later, Adam returned, he found the 
two girls sitting together chatting by the 
light of the fire. He came back in no 
better humour than when he went ; indeed, 



54 An AM AND EVE. 

his irritability was increased by the know- 
ledge that something against which he had 
striven had proved too strong for him, and 
that he had been almost forced against his 
will to return. In his effort to seem cool 
and indifferent, his voice sounded rasping 
and harsh. 

* What, sitting in the dark still V he said, 
for want of some other remark. ' How is> 
it you haven't got a candle yet, eh V 

Joan pushed back her chair, as if intend- 
ing to get a light. 

' There, you needn't move ; I can reach 
it :' and leaning across her over to the 
mantel-piece he took down the candlestick, 
but in stepping back managed to catch the- 
table-cover, so that several of the articles 
which lay upon it were swept off on to the 
ground, and among them the unfortunate 
lace. ' The end of this will be to get 
thrown into the fire,' he said, picking up 



ADAM AND EVE. 55 

the parcel and tossing it into Eve's 
lap. 

' That would be a pity,' said Eve ; 
' though nobody 'ud be to blame for it but 
yourself. I've given it back to you several 
times already, I can't do more than that ;' 
and with no attempt to refold it, she threw 
it with what looked like an air of contempt 
on the table. 

' Then you don't mean to take it '?' 

^No.' 

'Not after — what — I said — to you/ 
stammered Adam, his temper rising with 
each word. 

* You have not said anything that I 
know of which should make me chano-e 
my mind,' replied Eve. 

* If you don't take it up this minute, I'll 
pitch it all into the fire,' said Adam. 

' It's your own to do what you like with/ 
said Eve. ' I shan't interfere to prevent you.* 



56 ADAM AND EVE, 

Joan uttered a cry, but already the deli- 
cate gossamer was swallowed in the flame 
which leaped up to receive it. 

'There's the ruffles/ said Eve, pushing 
the remaining pieces towards him. 

^ Oh, Eve, I do call that a downright 
sin r exclaimed Joan, as another flame 
darted up. ' How can 'ee be so aggravatin 
to un ! To give back a hasty answer's one 
thing, but to go pourin' oil on fire is ill-be- 
comin any woman.' 

' I wish you'd ' but before Adam 

could thunder forth the rest of his sentence 
a voice at the door called out : 

' Why, b'ee all deaf or dumb or what, 
that you can't answer folks knocking your 
doors down ? Why, that's never Adam ! 
Awh !' and the tone altered into one be- 
tween apology and disappointment. ' I 
didn't knaw you was back, Adam ; I comed 
to ax 'em if they was minded to walk with 



ADAM AND EVE. 57 

me part ways to Lissen and back, for com- 
pany for Jessie here.' 

' My being home is nothing against that/ 
said Adam ; ' all the better. If Jessie 
wants company, I s'pose I shall do as well 
as another.' 

' Well, I never !' exclaimed Ann Lisbeth, 
turning to the girl Avho was trying to 
screen herself behind her, and who was the 
buxom daughter of a well-to-do farmer. 
' Hark to that, Jessie ! Do 'ee hear what 
he says % Take him to his word : I would.' 

Jessie's face beamed with delight. In 
-common with many another, to secure the 
preference of Adam was the ambition of 
her life. Taking it for granted that the rest 
of the party w^ould follow, she made no 
hesitation of accepting his unexpected offer, 
and in a few minutes, accompanied by him, 
left the house. 

' What do 'ee say, Eve ?' said Joan. 



58 ADAM AND EVE. 

' Do *ee think us had best to go too ? Us^ 
has had a reg'lar rumpus all round/ she 
added, in explanation to Ann Lisbeth. 

^ Well, then, do 'ee come longs for a 
walk,' argued her friend; * there's nothin' 
more like to set 'ee all straight agen than 
that/ 










CHAPTER III. 




NN LISBETH'S advice wa& 
taken ; and the three girls, with 
their arms linked together in a 
friendly fashion, followed Jessie and Adam 
up the Lansallos road, past Landaviddy, 
and on as far as the point where the road 
is joined by the one which leads by Lang- 
reek and Crumplehorne. Ann Lisbeth. 
and Joan sustained the conversation ; Eve 
only paying enough attention to enable her 
to drop in a word here and there, and so 
escape her silence attracting their notice. 



60 ADAM AND E VE. 

* Don't let's seem to be tryin' to catch 
them up,' Joan had said, soon after starting. 
* I've had enough o' Adam's black looks 
for one evenin' ;' and after that they had 
slackened their pace, and walked leisurely, 
as best suited their convenience. 

The night was dark, the sky cloudy, the 
road muddy and long ; and Eve, unused to 
the roughness of country lanes, began to 
grow tired and weary. 

' Have we very much farther to go ?' she 
asked, her voice giving utterance to her 
feelings. 

' Why, no,' said Joan ; ' and considerin 
us has got to go all the ways back agen 
home, I don't see why us shouldn't turn to 
once. Jessie don't want to say nothin' 
more to you, I s'pose, Ann Lisbeth 1' 

' Lord, no !' laughed Ann Lisbeth. ' I'll 
be bound for it by this time her's a forgot 
there's anybody else in the world but Adam. 



ADAM AND EVE. 61 



Won't it be sickly to hear her !' she added, 
with a fjice of dissfust. ' 'Twill be Adam 
this, and Adam that, till I shall get to 
hate the very sound o' his name/ 

* She may thank her stars he was in his 
tantrums to-night,' said Joan, ' or he'd ha' 
seed her to Jericho afore he'd offered to 
see her home.' 

' Do 'ee think so V said Ann Lisbeth, 
dubiously. ' Well, then, he didn't ought 
to go stuffin' the maid up as he does, if so 
be he ain't ha' got no manin' in it ; 'cos her 
sooks in all he says for gospel- truth.' 

' More fool she, then !' replied Joan, de- 
cisively. * Her's got to do no more than 
open her eyes and her ears, to know that 
he's a done the same by a good many afore 
it comed to her turn. Why, look to Chrissy 
Pope and Sally Tadd ; he's never carried 
on the quarter with Jessie that he has with 
they, and a score more that I could name ; 



62 ADAM AND EVE. 

SO if hers made a Jinny-ninny of, there's 
only herself to thank for't.' 

' Do 'ee think us'll keep 'em waitin' up 
to farm gate, 'spectin' us to come on ?' sug- 
gested Ann Lisbeth. 

^ If so, they'll be waitin in vain,' re- 
turned Joan, wheeling round decisively; 
^ so come along, let's go home by Crumple- 
horne — 'tis shorter ;' and away they went, 
gossiping as before, only that, on the sup- 
position that Eve felt tired, she was left to 
"the more undisturbed possession of her own 
thoughts. 

^ Here, I say, Joan !' exclaimed Ann 
Ijisbeth, as they came within sight of a 
gate which led up to a farmhouse, hidden 
by the high hedge from view, ^ I wants to 
ask Mrs. Clims about some butter. Would 
''ee mind runnin' in for a minute to see if 
her's got it ready ?' 

' Well, I'm afeard Eve's more tired than 



ADAM AND EVE. 63 

she owns to/ said Joan ; ' I've felt her 
hmpin' for a brave bit/ 

* I can't think what I've done to my 
foot !' said Eve ; ' and it ahnost feels as if 
I'd turned it somehow, but if ' 

^ Xo, no/ replied Joan ; ^ us'll stay here 
while Ann Lisbeth runs in ; 'twon't take 
her but a few minutes/ 

Away went Ann Lisbeth through the 
gate, and Joan and Eve were left standing 
in the narrow steep lane. 

' Lord, what a time her's gone !' ex- 
€laimed Joan, going forward to see if there 
was any sign of their companion's approach. 
* I'd a had all the butter in the place 'fore 
this / and she undid the gate, and held it 
half open in lier anxiety. 

' Here, Joan, Joan !' called out a voice 
from within, ' come in for a minute ; do 
'ee, like a dear I Here's somebody wantin' 
to spake to 'ee.' 



64 ADAM AND EVE. 

' Yes, you go, Joan,' said Eve ; ' do f 
you won't be long, and I'll wait here till 
you come out.' 

Joan went inside, and Eve heard her 
greeted by a clamour of voices. Feeling 
her foot growing more painful, she went to 
the gate and leaned on it for support. Her 
heart was heavy and her thoughts troubled : 
her anger against Adam had given place 
to dissatisfaction with herself It was not 
that she repented refusing the lace, but she 
felt she had no right to refuse it in such an 
ungracious manner ; it was giving way to 
unnecessary temper, and causing unneces- 
sary strife, for, after all, if he hadn't 
thought something of her, he wouldn't have 
offered her such a handsome present ; and 
Eve sighed despondingly as she told her- 
self he wasn't likely to look over it in a 
hurry. She wished she knew how best to 
propitiate him. Should she tell him how 



ADAM AND E VE. 65 

sorry she felt ? say to him that she hoped 
he would forget her uiicousiiily behaviour ? 
Her mind was full of compunction, ready 
to make any apology ; her heart softened 
and humbled ; when suddenly her ear 
caught the rapid approach of footsteps ; she 
turned quickly round — it was Adam ; and 
as quickly she had resumed her position, 
and was again leaning over the gate. 
There was a moment's pause ; if the foot- 
steps had gone on, assuredly Eve would 
have run after them ; but the hesitation 
determined the balance of power in her 
favour, and the next instant Adam was 
standing beside her. Neither of them 
spoke. Eve silent because her courage 
was rising ; Adam, because his was failing. 

' I suppose,' he said, jerking out his 
words as if forced into saying them, ' it 
doesn't matter a bit to you whether we're 
good friends or bad ; so I don't know why 

VOL. II. 26 



6Q ADAM AND EVE. 

I should mind. But, somehow, mind I do,' 
he added, altering his position so that he 
might catch the expression of her now com- 
posed face. 

Did the mischievous imps, who had so 
often egged Adam on to tantalise unre- 
quited love, now gloat in triumph at the 
pitfall into which he in his turn was being 
lured ? for with all the quickness of a 
woman's appreciation of her situation, Eve 
seized her advantage, and at once assumed 
her former demeanour of cool indifference. 

' Eve !' 

' Adam.' 

* Oh, don't speak like that !' and he 
stamped his foot impatiently ; ' as if you 
didn't care a button whether I stay here 
or go away ; whether I speak or hold my 
tongue. I know that this evening I didn't 
do as I ought to have done, that I let my 
confounded ill-temper get the better of me ; 



ADAM AND EVE. 67 

but you know I had some reason ; you 
know that I was put out and tantahsed 
past bearing by one thing and the other ; 
and seeing that it was you who ' 

* Hush !' she said, as a sudden noise 
suggested that Joan and Ann Lisbeth were 
coming to join them; they've only gone 
in to ask Mrs. CHmo something, and left 
me here because my foot pains me so. I 
think I must have strained it/ she con- 
tinued, putting it out. 

* Your foot !' and in a second he was 
kneeling on the ground with his hand under 
her shoe. ' What, this one ? How did you 
do it V he said. ' Does it ache much ? 
You are not used to such rough walking, 
perhaps ; that's it.' 

' I hardly know / and she made an effort 
to stand upon it. ' Oh dear !' she ex- 
claimed, flinching with the pain ; ^ how shall 
I manage to hobble home V 

26—2 



68 ADAM AND E VE. 

' Oh, I'll get you home fast enough/ 
said Adam, growing quite cheerful at the 
prospect of her probable dependence. ^ If 
you'll take hold of me, and lean all your 
weight on my arm, I'll wager you shall 
reach home safely enough.' 

* But ain't you very tired already T sug- 
gested Eve. 

' Tired ! no. What should I be tired 
with V 

* Why, you've had Jessie to ' 

* Oh, Jessie be — bothered ! I only offered 
to go with her because — well, hoping it 
would vex you.' 

' Vex me ! why, how could it possibly 
vex me V and Eve opened her eyes in inno- 
cent astonishment. 

' I don't know,' he said ; ^ only I know 
I'd give a "good deal to be able to vex you, 
or please you, or even put you in right- 
down regular passion, so that it would make 



ADAM AND E VE. 69 



you think of me a bit diiferent to other 
people/ 

' Dear me, what a time they're staying !' 
said Eve abruptly, declining to take any 
notice of this last speech. 

'There it is!' he sighed; 'that's it! 
You're tired of me in five minutes.' 

' Hardly so soon as that,' said Eve ; and 
either the softened intonation of her voice 
or the look she turned upon him made 
Adam exclaim : 

' Eve, let me run in and tell them we're 
going on. Yes ; do, now ! Rawes Climo's 
home, and he's certain to walk back with 
Ann Lisbeth. Only think, if you wait for 
them, how late we shall be ! and with you 
not able to do more than limp home 1' 

' Do you think they'd mind V said Eve, 
hesitating. 

' ^lind ! no ;' and, waiting for no further 
permission, he opened the gate, and was in 



70 ADAM AND EVE. 

the house and back aofain before Eve had 
more than thue to wonder if she ought to 
have allowed him to go. 

' It's all right,' he said ; ' Rawes is there, 
and Barnabas Tadd, and they're all coming 
together. I told them not to hurry, be- 
cause you would be forced to walk very 
slow. Will you have my arm V he asked ; 
' or shall I take your hand V 

Eve held out her hand, Adam took it ; 
and they so proceeded on their way, pick- 
ing their steps with a caution which pre- 
cluded much being said in the way of con- 
versation. At length, however, the bottom 
of the hill was reached, and the road 
became more even, so that there was a 
possibility of talking. 

' I remember this road now,' said Eve : 
' 'tis the same one I came here by, up on 
the horse behind young Mr. Tucker.' 

' Is it V replied Adam, with the ab- 



ADAM AND EVE. 71 

stracted air of one who makes a remark be- 
cause he feels something is expected of him. 

* Yes ; and we shall come to the turning 
to the mill presently, shan't we '?' said Eve, 
apparently desirous of airing her topogra- 
phical knowledge. 

' Yes.' 

' I dare say it's a very pretty road by 
day/ and Eve looked up at the high over- 
hanging hedges ; ^ but it's so dreadfully 
dark now ! Isn't it dark 1' 

' Dark !' echoed Adam, after a minute's 
pause. ^ Yes, perhaps it is, rather ;' there 
was another pause, during which Eve wished 
that Adam would talk, or that she could 
think of something else to say ; these 
periods of silence were embarrassing. 

* Isn't it a pity there's no moon 1' she 
said, looking up at the sky, murky and 
dark, with only a glimmering star here and 
there visible. 



72 ADAM AND EVE. 

' What for ?' said Adam. ' Why should 
you want the moon ?' 

' Oh, because we could see our way so 
much better !' 

' I know every step of the way blind- 
folded/ said Adam ; ' there's quite as much 
light as I want. And as for you/ he added, 
drawing her closer to him, ' there's no need 
for you to see : you couldn't slip with me 
near you.' 

' Oh, couldn't I ! I'm not so sure of 
that/ she said, with a half-nervous laugh. 
* Why, you've almost let me slip two or 
three times already.' 

^ Not a bit of it !' he replied stoutly ; 
^ that wasn't slipping : I onl}^ caught hold 
of you to be ready in case you might slip.' 

* That's very good 1' laughed Eve. ' I'm 
afraid you must be nervous.' 

' I shouldn't wonder but I am,' he said, 
bending down so that Eve felt he was look- 



ADAM AND EVE. 73 

ing into her face. ' How ought you to feel 
when you are nervous V 

'How !' repeated Eve, who at that moment 
needed but to give the description by her 
personal feelings. ' Why, you seem in a 
sort of tremble all over, and your heart is 
in such a flutter that you can all but hear 
it beating.' 

* That's exactly how mine feels now, 
then,* said Adam. 

* Eeally !' and Eve tried to steady her 
voice to its usual tone. ' I wonder Avhat it 
can be with '?' 

' Do you want to know ?' said Adam ; 
and the whisper he spoke in seemed to 
quicken Eve's every vein. 'Shall I tell you*?' 

' No, no !' she cried. ' I don't want to 

liear — Adam — I ' but the rest of the 

sentence was smothered ; and when Eve 
spoke again it was to say, * Adam, I'm 
very angry indeed with you I' 



74 ADAM AND EVE. 

^ No, Eve, not angry !' and Adam's voice 
was penitence itself. ^ Don't say that I 
How could I help it, when the others will 
be here in a minute ? And you said you 
didn't know how to repay me.' 

* That didn't mean you were to pay your- 
self/ replied Eve, trying to assume a most 
offended air ; for, strange to say, she did 
not feel nearly as angry with Adam as she 
desired to. 

* Well, I'm sure I'll return it if you'll ' 

but Eve drew back with a determined 
movement. 

' Now, Adam, I won't allow any more of 
this. If you're going to walk home with 
me, you must behave yourself.' 

' Well, I will,' he said. ' Only you 
mustn't be angry. You must say you for- 
give me.' 

Eve stood for a moment hesitating, then^ 
without looking up, she said : 



ADAM AND EVE. 75 

* Well, I'll forgive you now, if you pro- 
mise never to do so agciin ; for, remember, 
next time I really shall be very angry in- 
deed with you.' 

The rest of the party now coming up, 
Adam accepted these conditions ; and, 
joining company, they walked along to- 
gether, singing snatches of such songs as 
had a chorus in which they could all take 
part. Between times the men spoke of 
their vessels, and how they had been em- 
ployed. Barnabas had a share in a pilchard 
sean, and was therefore well up in fishing 
news. Bawes, who belonged to Ezekiel 
John's boat, was anxious to know when 
their next trip might be expected. Adam 
had their late luck with the Indiaman to 
relate. They had done very well, he said ; 
and he thought by to-morrow, or the next 
day at the latest, the Lottery would manage 
to run it ashore. 



76 ADAM AND E VE. 

* How was it you didn't stay aboard her, 
then '?' asked Barnabas. 

* Oh, I'd had enough of being away/ 
rephed Adam, giving Eve's hand a signifi- 
cant squeeze. ^ Besides, there was a httle 
business to be done at Dock with the land- 
lord of the Blue Boar; so I got Jan Grigg, 
the pilot, to land me at Plymouth, and 
from there I got on.' 

' Didn't see nothin of Jerrem, I s'pose V 
said Bawes. 

Adam shook his head. 

' What a chap that is !' continued Rawes. 
' I wonder, now, where he's slopin away 
his time to '?' 

^ I told 'ee that Ikey Oliver said he'd 
ha' heerd that he'd left for Jersey Island, 
meaning to cross for Weymouth — didn't 
I V said Joan, addressing Adam. 

' Yes ; but as Captain Trethewy left 
Jersey the same day we set sail from 



ADAM AND EVE. 



Guernsey, I don't see how it could have 
bin true/ 

' Have 'ee got any pretty things this 
time, Adam f asked Ann Lisbeth, desirous 
of changing the topic. * Any chintzes or 
musHns or that ?' 

'No, nothing much beyond the china,* 
said Adam. ' That 'minds me I must look 
up Dickey Snobnose to-morrow. I s'pose 
you haven't none o' you seen him about 
nowheres, have ye ?' 

* Yes, they have/ said Joan. ' He was 
no later than yesterday to Jocha^bed Giles's, 
'spectin' to hear you was in ; but Jochabed 
had just met Eve and me goin' to Bridles, 
so she told 'en 'twould be o' no use goin' to 
our house.' 

' H'm !' said Adam ; ' I wish I could see 
him to-night or to-morrow — 'twould save a 
vast deal o' bother. I wonder whether 
she'd know where he's to be found for the 
next day or two"?' 



78 ADAM AND EVE. 

' Very like,' said Joan ; ' 't all events, us 
can go in and see ; 'tain't above five 
minutes out o' the way down by Ann Lis- 
beth's/ 

Adam looked at Eve. 

^ No,' lie said. ' We'll get home first, 
and then I'll run down afterwards. I can 
see her foot's paining her.' 

' It's walking on it, I s'pose/ said Eve ; 
adding, in a vexed tone, ' I'm so sorry to be 
keeping all of you !' 

' Stuff a' nonsense !' exclaimed Joan. 
' There ain't nothin' to be sorry for, except 
'tis for yourself. Shall I go on, Adam V 
she asked. * We might just so well, and 
leave you and Eve to folio'. I'll be home 
then so quick as you, or just after; and 
there'll be no needs for you toilin' down all 
that ways.' 

Adam looked his thanks for such unde- 
served good-nature ; and after bidding them 



ADAM AND EVE. 79 

' Good-niglit !' the rest of the party started 
off, leaving Eve and Adam to come on at 
a slower pace. 

' Do you know, I think I must take my 
shoe off/ said Eve, quite hot with the pain 
caused her by the exertion of trying to 
keep up with the others, who, forgetful of 
her foot, had by degrees quickened into 
their ordinary pace. 

^ No, don't do that,' said Adam ; * it will 
be ever so much worse when you put it on 
again. Suppose you rested here for a 
minute. You might sit down,' he added, 
seeing they were close by the low wall 
which divided Jowter's park from the road. 

Eve gladly accepted the offer ; the pain 
of her foot was making her feel sick and 
faint. 

' You may depend you have given it a 
sprain,' said Adam ; ' I can hardly feel the 
ankle-bone. Wait for a minute 1 I'll 



80 ADAM AND E VE. 

loosen the shoestring — that'll ease you a 
little ;' and he commenced trying to untie 
the rather complicated knot of ribbon. 

'• Oh, never mind untying it. If you've 
got a knife, cut it I' exclaimed Eve, im- 
patient with pain. 

And in another moment not only was 
the string cut, but, unable to resist the cer- 
tainty of increased relief, the shoe, too, was 
off, lying on the ground. 

'• Oh, how good that is !' she sighed. ' I 
felt as if my foot must burst.' \ 

' Yes, I know what it is,' said Adam, 
sympathetically. ^ I gave my foot an ugly 
twist once, coming along the rocks from 
Playdy Beach.' 

' Ah, I don't wonder there ; but here in 
the road, I can't think how it happened !' 

' I only wonder it hasn't happened before,' 
said Adam ; ' such a little tiny foot as it is T 

* Come, it's of no use trying to take me 



\ 



ADAM AND EVE. 81 

in with your flattery,' said Eve. ' I've 
been told all about you already/ 

' What do you mean, all about me V 

^ Why, what a regular flirt yoa are, and 
how you try to make the girls think you 
are dying for them one w^eek, and laugh at 
at them for it the next. Ah ! you see, I 
know all about you,' she laughed, triumph- 
antly. 

' Don't you give credit to any such lies,' 
said Adam, energetically ; ' 'cos it isn't true. 
I don't say I haven't carried on a bit with 
the maidens about, like other chaps ; but, 
as for meaning anything by it, nothing 
could be further from my thoughts. But 
that's the way with the women ; they're 
never contented unless they think you 
mean twenty times more than you 
say.' 

' And that's not your case, then V 
laughed Eve. ' What you say you mean, 

VOL. II. 27 



82 ADAM AND EVE. 

and what you mean you say, eh — i& 
that it r 

' Not always ; lately, if I'd been let, I 
should have said a great deal more than I 
have said. I've meant what 'tisn't easy 
perhaps to put into words.' 

* Come, come !' said Eve, quickly, ' now 
you're getting out of your depth again ; 
and it's quite time we were getting back, 
so give me my shoe !' and she held out 
her foot — and a very good-looking foot it 
was, clothed in its well-fitting grey knitted 
stocking. 

Women of all classes were careful over 
the appearance of their feet in those days, 
when a pretty foot Avas reckoned hardly 
second to a pretty face. 

The shoe was produced, but all fruitless 
were the endeavours to get it on. Adam 
turned down the heel, held open the sides, 
while Eve pulled at it with a vigour which 



ADAM AND EVE. 83 

might have done credit to Cinderella's 
rivals, but all to no effect. The shoe didn't 
go on, and the shoe wouldn't go on. 

^ "Whatever's to be done f she exclaimed, 
in dismay. 

' You can't walk home without your 
shoe,' exclaimed Adam. 

' But I must,' continued Eve. 

' Your foot would be cut to pieces,' said 
Adam. 'There's but one thing to be 
done,' he added, after a moment's pause, 
' I must carry you.' 

' Oh no !' said Eve. ' Carry me I absurd 
nonsense !' 

' Then how are you to get back X 

' I can't think.' 

' Nor I either ; so come along. It's per- 
fectly dark, nobody '11 see you ; and, if they 
do, what's the odds ?' 

' But you've no idea how heavy I am.' 

' Oh, a tidy weight, I've no doubt ; but 

27—2 



84 ADAM AND E VE. 

I can get up most places with a couple of 
kegs slung to me, so I'll have a try, and 
at the worst I can but drop you in the 
road, you know.' 

Eve urged many more scruples, but, as 
while making them she mounted the wall 
and arranged her dress, Adam gave them 
no heed; he directed her to lean her weight 
well over his shoulder and not to talk, and 
then ojff they set, Eve feeling far more at 
her ease than she had conceived possible 
under so trying a situation. 

^ Don't you think I'd best walk now V 
said she, as Adam rested for a moment 
before the little street leading up to Tal- 
land lane. 

' No : how could you ? the road's worse 
here than where we are come from. You 
don't want to walk, do you V 

' No ; only I'm afraid of your being 
tired.' 



ADAM AND EVE. 85 



' Tired !' he Scaid, resuming his burden ; ' I 
should Uke to carry you to the world's end/ 

And instead of reproving this idle wish, 
Eve only said, ' Put me down before you 
open the door — in case anybody should be 
inside.' 

Fortunately, with the exception of two 
men who passed them with a stolid ' good- 
night,' they met no one. The night was 
dark, and on dark nights few people who 
had not a necessity cared to venture abroad ; 
added to this, the air blew keen, so that 
most of the hatch-doors were closed, and 
the only gleam of light came from the red- 
curtained windows of the two public- 
houses which they passed on their 
way. 

* I really don't know how to thank you, 
Adam/ said Eve, earnestly; for, the little 
bridge crossed, she knew they were now 
close by the house. 



86 ADAM AND EVE. 

'■ So you said before/ he replied, mean- 
ingly. 

' No, but really now,' persisted Eve; 'this 
is quite different, you know/ 

* Oh, never mind/ said Adam ; 'I'm con- 
tent to take the same payment/ 

' Now, Adam,' and Eve gave him a re- 
proving look. 

' Come, that's pretty well,' he said, ' con- 
sidering that if I'd been minded to I might 
have helped myself at every step we 
took.' 

' 'Twas good for you, though, you didn't,' 
said Eve, as, having reached the door, she 
slid down on to the step. 

' Was it V he answered her absently ; 
then with a sudden impulse, for his hand was 
on the latch, he turned, and whispering said : 
' Eve, what should you call it if all of a 
sudden seeing and talking to, and being 
near to, one person seemed more than any- 



ADAM AND EVE. 87 

thing else in the world — should you call it 
love r 

' I don't know,' she flxltered ; ' I don't 

know anvthins: about ' but before she 

could o'et out the word, the door from 
within was burst open by Joan, who ex- 
clainied, in an excited voice : 

'\Tell,here you be at last, poor souls! come 
along in with 'ee, do. There's somebody 
waitin' to see 'ee ; who d'ee think — eh, 
Adan? Why, 'tis old Jerrem ; iss, that's 
who tis. When I corned back I found un 
sittin' down waitin' for us.' 

And having thus far intercepted the 
meeting, she now drew on one side and ad- 
mitted to view a young man, who came 
forwarc, and, holding out his hand, said 
in an avkward, constrained manner : 

^ We.l, Adam, here I am at last ; and 
how's ihe land lying with you X 




CHAPTEE IV. 






jO Joan's great satisfaction Adam 
i accepted the hand which JaTem 
"""" proffered, exchanged a fev in- 
different remarks, and then by degrees 
sank down into that distant coolness more 
fatal to the re-establishment of friendship 
than an oj)en rupture is. In ansver to 
some questions put by Joan, Jerren said 
that he had left Jersey on the p:eviou& 
Sunday and had come across in th« Long 
Bet, of Cawsand, a vessel apparently en- 
gaged in the same free trade as the lottery. 



ADAM AND E VE. 8 9* 

He spoke of the places he had visited 
and the people ho had seen, but beyond 
these and like remarks no mention ^Yas 
made as to his absence, or the cause of 
his being left behind. Eve, who had 
expected to find in Jerreni another stal- 
wart sailor, was surprised to see a short 
slim young fellow wdth a pleasant face and 
an irresistible flow of spirits, with which at 
once he seemed to infect every one but 
Adam ; who, notwithstanding the efforts 
made by Joan and Eve, continued to sit 
silent and glum, answering the direct ques- 
tions put to him, but refusing to be drawn 
into the general conversation. 

This moodiness, however, was no check 
to Jerrem, who rattled away during the 
whole of supper-time with a volubility 
which increased as the two girls, finding 
their efforts fruitless, resigned themselves 
to being amused, and gradually became so 



90 ADAM AND EVE. 

engrossed with their merriment and banter 
that during long lapses of time Adam and 
his ill-hnmour were forgotten. At length 
the pushing back of his chair with unne- 
cessary violence recalled them to a sense 
of his presence, after which he got up, 
took a cigar from his pocket, and leaning 
across for the candle, held it while he pro- 
ceeded to take a liofht. 

' Why, you ain't goin out, Adam, to be 
sure?' exclaimed Joan, now fully alive to 
the offence they had given. 

' What !' said Adam, continuing to puff 
away at his cigar. 

' You ain't goin out, not now ?' repeated 
Joan. 

' Yes, I am !' he said, waiting to set down 
the candle before he gave the answer. 
'Why? is there any reason why I shouldn't 
go?' 

'No, no reason,' said Joan; 'only 'tis 



ADAM AND EVE. 91 

gettiii' so late, and ^ve two shall be off to 
bed almost directly.' 

' Oh ! indeed '?' and Adam's face ex- 
pressed the astonishment he desired to 
imply. ^ Really, I thought from present 
appearances that you were settled for the 
night.' 

* And why not ?' put in Jerrem. ' I for 
one am ready to make a night of it. 
Come, what do ee say to a brew o' good 
punch — eh, Joan ? Where's the grog to ? 
out with it, my maid, and let's draw round 
the fire and have a song ;' and throwing his 
arm round Joan's waist, he trolled out in 
an uncommonly musical voice : 

* " 'Twas landlady Meg that made such rare flip ; 
Pull away, pull away, my hearties I 
At Wapping she lived, at the sign o' the Ship, 
Where tars met in such jolly parties. 

Parties — where tars " ' 

but the remainder of the chorus was 



92 ADAM AND EVE. 

drowned by the clang of the house-door, as 
Adam slammed it violently after him. 

' O Lord, there's the fat in the fire 
agen !' exclaimed Joan, despondingly. 

' Never mind — what's the odds so long as 
you're happy ?' laughed Jerrem, paying no 
more heed that the door had been slammed 
by Adam's exit, than if its bolts and bars 
had been shaken by a gust of wind. 

' Happy !' echoed Joan, in a tone of 
vexation. ' Iss, that's all very fine for you ; 
but Eve and me's had so much o' it as us 
can carry in wan day, haven't us. Eve? 
He'd scarce so much as set foot inside the 
doors afore he beo^an w^ith his tantrums.' 

' Blawed out o' Plymouth in a contrairy 
wind,' suggested Jerrem, who continued to 
busy himself in stirring the fire, putting on 
the kettle and getting out fresh glasses. 

' I wish to goodness, then, 'twould blow 
un back agen,' sighed Joan ; ' there or 



ADAM AND EVE. 93 



anywheres, so long as he'd stay 'till he felt 
a bit more peaceable. I declares you may 
so well try to walk on the edge o' a knife, 
as hope to please him when he's in one o' 
these quondaries.' 

' But what on earth could have anchored 
him now V exclaimed Eve ; ' he seemed so 
sorry that he'd been out of temper, he 
quite begged my pardon about it.' 

^ Then, I say, Joan, let's you and me ax 
of un to beg our pardons, shall us V said 
Jerrem, with a comical look. ' Lors, come 
along, do,' he added, pointing to a low 
chair Avhich he had placed for her next his 
own ; ' or afore we gets settled us'll have 
un back agen. So out with the liquor, any- 
w^ays ; and if w^e can't get punch, give us a 
drop o' grog.' 

Joan placed the bottles on the table, 
taking out at the same time the little 
flowered glass which she had previously 
given to Eve. 



D4 ADAM AND E VE. 

' What do 'ee think V she said, as she set 
it in front of her, ' till her corned here, her 
never so much as tasted spirits o' no kind ; 
and now,' she added, judging the surprise 
she must be occasioning in her hearer, 
^ hers only just put her lips to it, so 'tis no 
good o' mixin' nothin' worth drinkin for she.' 

' All right,' said Jerrem, ^ you leave that 
to me. I know the sort o' brew that tickles 
the maiden's fancy. You won't say no to 
what I'll make for ye, miss.' 

' Miss,' laughed Joan. ^ Why, call her 
Eve, to be sure, Jerrem ; hers so much 
a cousin to 'ee as I be, and,' she continued 
assuming to whisper, ' sent a kiss to 'ee, 
too, on that letter you haven't a got, 
same as I did.' 

' Oh, Joan, how can you !' exclaimed Eve, 
her face getting very red and confused. 

* Come, I like that/ cried Joan ; ^ how 
could you % 'Tis truth, though, a reg'lar 



ADAM AND E VE. 95 

smackin' one, too, so big round as so' — and 
she pouted up her lips into a rosy button, 
which to Jerrem looked so irresistible that, 
deferring tlie payment he evidently in- 
tended making to Eve, he made a dart 
at Joan, thereby affording an opportunity 
for Eve to escape, which she, utterly 
unmindful of her foot, manao^ed to effect 
by running up the stairs, which opened out 
behind her. 

^ Her'll be down ao^en in a minute, I 
reckon,' said Joan. But so Jong as Joan 
stayed, Jerrem was perfectly indifferent as 
to what Eve might do ; and, resuming 
his seat and his grog, he tried to entice 
Joan to sit down by his side, but of no 
avail, for Joan, remembering the hurt foot, 
insisted on taking the candle to run up- 
stairs and see what Eve was about ; and 
when some minutes later she returned, she 
informed Jerrem that Eve had gone up for 



96 ADAM AND EVE. 

good and all, and that she'd only come 
down to say good-night to him. 

' Oh, good-night,' said Jerrem; and Joan, 
knowing by his voice that he was not very 
pleased, endeavoured to propitiate him by 
makinpf some remark which led to an 
answer, and gradually expanded into a 
gossip, the principal topics being Eve and 
Adam ; and Joan had just commenced a 
whispered account of how Adam had burnt 
the lace, when a footstep close outside the 
door made her exclaim : ' I say, here he 
comes ; I'm bothered if he shall know that 
her ain't here too !' and with a sudden 
movement she blew out the candle, so that 
when Adam opened the door it was to find 
the room empty, while the still bright wick 
and the scampering of footsteps told him 
that it was only at his approach that the 
happy party had taken flight. He drew 
a chair over to the fire, and flung himself 



ADAM AND EVE. 97 

down in no enviable mood, debating what 
course he should take. His strong desire 
was to make Jerrem come down, and then 
and there have a settlement of the long 
array of aggravations which for months 
had been smouldering between them. He 
regretted beyond measure that he had 
accepted his hand, a thing he had resolved 
not again to do ; only that, coming upon 
him suddenly as he had done, the desire to 
avoid another outbreak before Eve had 
made him first waver, and finally give way, 
and his reward had been that from the 
moment Jerrem appeared Eve had had 
eyes and ears for no one else. Might he 
not have known it would be so 1 had he 
ever cared for the afi'ection of any thing or 
person, but Jerrem had stepped in between 
them ? That birthright of mother's love 
which, whole and undivided, should have 
been his and only his, Jerrem had stolen 
VOL. II. 28 



98 ADAM AND E VE. 

from him ; that first place in his father's 
heart Jerrem had ousted him from, so that 
the want of tolerance he often showed 
towards the old man's failings sprang as 
much from wounded vanity as from 
wounded morality. Did he single out a 
companion, Jerrem lured him away; if he 
made an acquaintance, Jerrem captivated 
him from his side ; the very dog that 
Adam called his own, Jerrem could entice 
from his heels ; and if he chose to put forth 
his arts among the croAV, Adam's sound 
reasoning and common-sense arguments 
were as idle words poured into deaf 
ears. 

Was this to go on for ever ? and as the 
question rose up in his mind, before his 
eyes there shaped itself a face which, 
though but lately seen, had so mirrored 
itself in Adam's heart that its presence 
seemed reflected in every thouo^ht — its 



ADAM AND EVE. 99 

power felt in every action. Hitherto he 
had refused to ask the name of this spell, 
which by turns galled him like a yoke and 
then hung lightly as a chain of roses ; but 
now his ears tingled wdth the sound, and 
every pulse that beat proclaimed its name 
w\as love. And was this new^-born happi- 
ness to be wrenched away and torn aside 
by one w^iose shallow nature had no 
depths to shelter more than a passing 
passion ? No ; no, a thousand times no. 
Rather Avould he pluck his heart out 
by the roots than run the risk of such 
a dano-er, the dim shadow of which so 
frenzied him that, unmindful of all else 
but the tumult of his thoughts, he started 
from his chair and paced the room with 
hurried steps, while those above, listening 
to the sound, drew each their own conclu- 
sions : Joan's cup of bitterness sweetened by 
the thought that at last Adam could be 

28—2 



100 ADAM AND E VE. 

made to suffer ; Eve's heart swelling with 
delight as she grew more conscious of her 
power; Jerrem's weak nature quickened 
into firm resolve that if Adam was fairly 
caught, he'd have a game with Eve too ; 
and repay the many stings which Adam's 
way of doing right so often made him 
smart and writhe under. Headstrong, 
impetuous, led by any one he was with, 
kind-hearted to a fault, generous to excess, 
Jerrem's virtues led him into more evils 
than most men's vices do. He was as 
Avax in the hand of friend or foe, and was- 
easily persuaded to follow the lead of the 
companion who humoured him most com- 
pletely. Adam prided himself on never 
having stooped to gain an influence over 
Jerrem, a very false matter of gratulation ; 
as, had he done so, he might have turned 
him from much folly and many a vicious 
habit. For Jerrem, rattle-brained as he 



ABAM AND EVE. 101 

seemed, had enough good sense to perceive 
and even to admire — althouofhhe could not 
emulate — Adam's good qualities, and a word 
of i^ersuasion from him would have often 
conquered where a dictatorial rebuke only- 
inflamed. Latterly their differences had 
been more open and more frequent, and 
the discord kept up by Jerrem's habit 
of shirking all allusion to an unpleasant 
subject, and positively refusing, when the 
cause of offence had once passed by, to 
give or receive any further explanation 
of it. 

Jerrem could part with a man one day in 
the middle of a towering rage, and meet him 
the next with a pleasant smile, a shake of 
the hand, as if nothing had happened ; a 
great proof, as his friends thought, of a 
forgiving disposition, while, in reality, the 
disposition to forgive was very trifling in 
comparison with his inability to retain ; he 



102 ADAM AND EVE. 

could no more keep up anger than he could 
mamtain silence, prudence, or any of those 
numerous ^ new leaves ' which he resolved 
to turn over one hour and foro^ot all about 
the next. 

Adam, on the contrary, had no power to 
throw off an annoyance ; it rankled and 
stuck by him until the matter of it was 
cleared ujd or atoned for; and though a 
year might elapse before an opportunity 
occurred, when it did occur his mind re- 
verted at once to the quarrel, and his 
manner betrayed the consciousness of its 
presence. Born with that love of his native 
place which reigns supreme in every true 
Cornishman's heart, Adam's early ambition 
had been full of schemes for the prosperity 
and regeneration of Polperro ; and as year 
by year these aspirations faded away, in the 
certainty that nothing short of a miracle 
could change either place or people, he grew 



ADAM AND EVE. 103 

to have less sympathy for failings he had 
no share in, and less toleration for follies 
he had no temptation to. 

Noting his unpopularity, it stung him 
to the quick to see the difference made be- 
tween Jerrem and himself Jerrem wel- 
comed, made much of, screened, confided 
in, while he was only sought when an 
arbitrator was needed ; never welcomed 
except some advice was wanted ; seldom 
trusted, but when betrayal elsewhere Avas 
feared — a popularity utterly valueless 
while Jerrem held the stronghold of fa- 
vour, for the jealous heart has in no way 
chanofed since envious Haman counted all 
as nought so long as Mordecai the Jew sat 
at the king's gate. 

*'Twas all alono- o' his head beinof 
crammed up with a passel o' book-larnin,' 
was the verdict pronounced on Adam by 
the Polperro folk, who, while they showed 



104 ADAM AND EVE. 

no predilection for his society, could not 
refrain from compassionating him. A man 
who didn't, seemingly, care much for badger- 
baiting, dog-fighting, rat-hunting, wouldn't 
drink, and seldom fought, what rational 
enjoyment was there left for him ? So well 
not make money at all, as not to know how 
to spend it when you had made it. '^ 'Twas a 
complete judgment on old Zebedee's pride," 
they said, '^ and prettily he was payin' 
for it now, 'stead o' bringin' up the boy in 
the way he should go. For to stick by his 
boat and stand by his cargo, fight fair and 
die game, was all the larnin' a Polperro 
lad needed ; and if that tachin didn't 
make a man of him, nothin' to be larnt 
out of books would." 





CHAPTEK V. 

]ISTEACTED by thoughts which 
even in sleep still held posses- 
sion of his mind, Adam gladly 



hailed the daAvn, and, rising with it, went 
out soon after to see if as yet there was 
any news of the Lottery. He was anxious 
to secure the immediate services of Dicky 
Snobnose, an itinerant vendor of earthen- 
ware — or dome, as it is thereabouts called 
— who was usually engaged to dispose of 
the smuggled porcelain, which, as ' rale 
Injee Chinee,' was held at that time in 



106 ADAM AND EVE. 

great repute. Lostwithiel was the usual 
market, and thither, concealed away under 
coarse basins and jugs, Dicky carried it 
himself : or, if of too weighty a load for his 
basket, packed it carefully in the paniers 
of the sturdy donkey which he carefully 
led along. 

Adam found that the fisher portion of 
the village was already astir, and round 
and about the quay various preparations 
were in progress. The sea was smooth, 
and encircled by a dark blue ridge of 
boundary, over which clouds — heavy and 
lowering — spread out in a leaden stretch 
towards the shore, there to meet the mists 
which still hung thick, clinging to the cliffs, 
and obscuring all but their tall heads 
from view. The few boats which the 
dawn had found close in shore had 
managed to round the Peak, and now 
lay dotted here and there about the little 



ADAM AND EVE, 107 



harbour, waiting to clear out the fish 
which they had been best part of the 
night engaged in catching. The men 
lounged over the sides, calhng to one 
another, hearing and telhng of their hick, 
or their hick of it. The boys swung idly 
on the bowsprits, daring their fellows to 
various feats of venture. The lookers-on 
gazed idly from the quay, giving, now and 
again, vent to an abstracted whistle, in the 
vague hope of bringing the wind and 
bettering the stagnation of affairs. 

Placing himself on a vantage-point, 
Adam addressed the man nearest within 
hearing, and making a trumpet of his 
hands, shouted out an inquiry whether he 
had seen or heard any word of the Lottery. 
No, he had not, but he'd pass the word 
and ask if the others had ; the result of 
which w^as an answer returned that the 
Lottery was just outside, only waiting for 



108 ADAM AND EVE. 

a bit of a breeze to bring her in. His 
supposition thus confirmed, Adam deter- 
mined to seek Dicky Snobnose without 
further delay, and going across to the 
Three Pilchards, he found that word had 
been left on the j)i'evious evening that 
Dicky had gone to Lansallos, where he 
would remain until the next day. 

The morning was clearing up, with a 
promise of brightness, so without doubt 
the Lottery would make all speed to get in ; 
and as Adam had made arrangements for 
their store of spirits to be taken away, it 
was expedient to get the more fragile cargo 
off their hands with as little delay as 
possible. His best plan would be to set 
off for Lansallos at once, and as he should 
have to pass the mill on his way, he could 
easily get breakfast with his aunt, and 
thus avoid the unpleasantness which 
might not improbably attend another 



ADAM AND EVE, 109 

home-meal. ^y crossing the Green he 
escaped again passing the house, and came 
at once upon the road to Crumplehorne, 
his pace quickening as the recollection of 
the previous night's walk rose \x^ vividly 
to disturb him. Already over Hard Head 
the sun had made a rift in the sky. The 
hoar-frost, changed into drops of dew, 
hung trembling on each blade of grass ; 
the slowly dispelling mist curled itself 
into long wreaths of smoke, which, creep- 
ing up the hillside, vanished into space ; 
the dripping leaves held up their heads ; 
the shivering birds set up a feeble chirrup, 
and Adam, touched by soft memories and 
the cheering prospect of a brighter day, 
felt the gloom which had oppressed him 
lifted up, his spirits heightened ; and, 
throwing off the shadows which had 
hitherto clouded his face, he was able to 
present himself before Mrs. Tucker with a 



1 1 ADAM AND E VE. 

manner which gave rise to no suspicion on 
her part that she was indebted to aught 
else but the convenient situation of the 
mill for the pleasure of his visit. 

'- Well, I'm sure !' she said, as they 
seated themselves at the well- spread table. 
' 'Twouldn't have bin not expectin' so very 
much if Joan and Eve had got up for 
once and gived 'ee yer breakfast 'stead o' 
layin' in their beds till nobody knows when ; 
but there, young people's all alike now — up 
when they oft to be abed, and abed when 
they oft to be up.' 

' Well, they were kept up a bit late last 
night,' said Adam, by way of excuse ; ' one 
thing was that we were late home for 
coming back from seeing Jessie Braddon ; 
on her way Eve managed to give a twist 
to her foot.' 

^Well, I hope to goodness, then, that 
Joan had got some lily-leaves to lay to it ; 



ADAM Ai\D EVE. Ill 

thoiio^li 'twould be nothin more than I 
should look for to be told herd nothin' in 
the house to fly to.' 

* I don't know, I'm sure, what they did 
to it,' said Adam, carelessly ; ' it seemed 
rather bad at first, but I s'pose the pain 
went off, for she didn't appear to be doing 
anything to it.' 

'Ahl' said Mrs. Tucker, with a little 
nod of contempt : ' I've allays heerd say 
that town folks is capital hands at cryin' 
out afore they'm hurted. What do 'ee 
think o' yer cousin then, Adam V 

Adam felt devoutly thankful that, under 
cover of arranging the contents of his plate 
(which his aunt in her hospitality had over- 
bountifully filled), he could avoid meeting 
her scrutinising oraze. 

^ Oh, I think she's well enough, so far as 
maidens go,' he said at length. 

' Ah, you may well say as far as they go,' 



1 1 2 ADAM AND E VE. 

repeated Mrs. Tucker ; ' for there's but few 
o' them worth much, I blieve, nowadays, 
and I'm often checked from findin' more 
fault with Joan than I do, by the thought 
that where you see one better there's twenty 
that's worse.' 

'Oh, Joan's well enough,' said Adam, 
heartily; 'nobody need find much fault 
with her. If half the women in the world 
Avere as good as Joan, there'd be double as 
many men with lighter hearts.' 

'Well, I shouldn't wonder if you only 
speak the truth there,' returned Mrs. 
Tucker, complacently; 'for 'tis more her 
heedless ways than any harm that her's 
got in her, and for that reason I'm pleased 
to see Eve so steady, and not one o' your 
fly-away giglets, such as I could name a 
dozen for here ; rather too steady, I fancy, 
for the carryin' out o' uncle's scheme.' 

' Scheme ! what scheme V asked Adam. 



ADAM AND E VE. 1 1 3 

' Why, don't 'ee mind uncle's sayin' that 
she and Jerrem must make a match of it ? 

* Jerrem ! ' repeated Adam, sharply ; 
'father ud much better hold his tonsfue 
about such things. Jerrem can find a wife, 
I dare say, without father helping him to 
look for one.' 

' Oh, well, there was no harm meant,' 
returned Mrs. Tucker ; ' and so far as that 
goes, I was so mucli in fault as your 
father. For Eve's a unprovided-for girl, you 
know, Adam, and as Jerrem's made to 
share in everythin' pretty much as if he 
was a son, I don't see, for my part, why he 
shouldn't have the keepin' o' one o' the 
family for it.' 

' He's welcome, so far as I go, to all 
father chooses to do for him,' said Adam ; 
' but if I'm to be asked, I'd rather he 
looked out for a wife somewheres else. I 

VOL. II. 29 



114 ADAM AND EVE. 

think our family's had pretty well enough 
of him without that.' 

* x\h ! and so do I too/ rejDlied Mrs. 
Tucker, bristling up. ^ There's a way o' 
doin' things, and a way o' overdoin' things, 
and Jerrem's feet was never measured for 
the shoes he stands in ; but there, your 
poor mother was as blind as ever your 
father is, and, if 'tis possible, more wrapped 
up, so that I never got nothin' but black 
looks from both of 'em if ever I said a 
word against it.' 

' He's been made too much of altogether,' 
said Adam, conclusively. ^ However, I 
s'pose if parents choose to set up a stranger 
before their own son they've a right to; 
only let it end there. I wouldn't advise 
Jerrem to try on any more of these cutting- 
out games with me.' 

' And I don't wonder at 'ee sayin' so. 



ADAM AND EVE. 115 

then,' said Mrs. Tucker, syinpatlietically ; 
^ for the trodden worm will turn.' 

* Ah ! I don't know that there's much o' 
the worm about me,' laughed Adam, grimly; 

' but there's a touch of a tar-brush which ' 
might make a man think twice before he 
fell foul of me.' And, rising from the 
table, he pushed back his chair and put an 
end to the conversation by saying that he 
should have to be off now. 

' And you'll tell Joan not to forget that 
I haven't got a match to my basin yet,' 
said Mrs. Tucker, as Adam nodded his 
good-bye. 

* Best come down and match it yourself,' 
said Adam ; * and Sam here may stand a 
chance of that neckerchief I heard pro- 
mised him so long ago— eh, Sammy 1' 

Sammy's callow countenance expressed 
his approbation. Following Adam out, he 
said : 

29—2 



116 ADAM AND EVE. 

^ I was amanin' to come down. Not 
about the handkercher, though,' he added, 
with a chuckle. 

' What then ?' said Adam, absently. 
' To see Eve,' replied Sammy. ' Capen 
Triggs to Fowey axed me if so be he gived 
it to me, whether or no I'd give it to she, 
and I said "' Iss, I would." ' 

' You would what ?' said Adam, turning 
round so sharply that Sammy, who always 
walked a step or two behind, was forced to 
avoid him by giving a sudden dodge on 
one side. 

' Why — why,' stammered Sammy, '• tell 
her 'bout the chap to London, how he's 
allays agoin' to un axin' if hers a got down 
all safe and that, and whether her likes it 
or no, and whether her bain't soon acomin* 
back agen, and so on.' 

' What's he called ? asked Adam. 

* Nothin' that I knows by ; but her can 



ADAM AND EVE, 117 

tell 'ee, 'cos lie seed her aboard the Mary 
Jane J 

* Here, you come along with me/ said 
Adam, holding the gate open to make 
sure of Sam passing through. ' Now,' he 
said authoritatively, ^ tell me from the 
beginning what did Capen Triggs say, eh X 

Sammy, who held Adam in the greatest 
awe, began to feel very uncomfortable. 

' 'Twarn't no fault o' mine/ he whined 
out in an injured tone. 

' Who said it was V said Adam, testily. 
* Fault of yours, of course not ; nobody's 
finding fault Avith you. All I want to 
know is, what did Triggs say V 

* Awh !' said Sammy, greatly relieved. 
*Well then, so far as I can, I'll tell 'ee 
how it was.' 

And with a large amonut of circumlocu- 
tion he related that Captain Triggs had 
told him to tell Eve that the young man 



1 1 8 ADAM AND E VE, 

who saw lier off had been down twice to 
the wharf to inquire if he'd heard any 
word of how she was getting on, and that 
he, CajDtain Triggs, had promised him that 
if he got a chance he'd send and tell her 
that a few lines from herself would be 
acceptable. 

' And that was all ?' said Adam, fixing 
a searching gaze on Sammy. 

Sammy nodded his head. 

* Every word,' he said decisively. 

^ All right I Then, now look here r 
don't you say anything about it, but leave 
it to me to tell her myself, and I'll see you 
get your neckerchief all right ; and, if you 
can keep a silent tongue, something else 
that I've got stowed away somewheres at 
home.' 

' I woan't quit a single ward to no livin' 
sawl,' said Sammy, solemnly, his face 
beaming with anticipation. ' I reckon,' he 



ADAM AND EVE, 119 

added, ^vitll a confidential wink at Adam, 
* that thuck'ee chap's her baw, doan't 
you V 

Adam did not answer, but the look 
which came into his face as he made a 
half-step forward sent Sammy back into 
the hedge, where he remained, apparently 
paralysed, until with an effort at control 
Adam swung himself round, and rapidly 
walked away, heedless of aught but the 
tumult of emotion which the slightest 
word of Eve seemed now to stir up Avithin 
him. 

Ever since this fever had set in, Adam 
had been torn by a hundred doubts and 
contradictions. While absent, the idle 
moments of each day seemed spent in 
testing the sincerity of this sudden pas- 
sion. Was it real? would it last ? Until 
the weig^ht of fear that another mis^ht 
step in had cast down the scale and left 



120 ADAM AND EVE, 

no further room for doubt or reason, the 
balance had seemed undecided. But now, 
added to Adam's former anxiety, had 
come the suspicion conjured up by Sammy 
Tucker's tale. 

Surely it could not be that Eve had left 
her heart behind, already given to another's 
keeping. The thought turned Adam sick. 
Ke calling to his mind the words he once 
had jested on, about her never being a 
sailor's wife, he asked himself, could there 
be more in this than he had thought ? An 
ugly look came into Adam.'s face, and for 
a while he let a battle rage between a 
voice which said no girl would look at him 
as she had looked unless she held her love 
in her own keeping, and one that argued 
with a bitter sneer that women were alike 
and all were false. Yes, all but Eve ; for 
love soon triumphed over doubt, and grow- 
ing pitiful, called reason to its aid, w^hich 



ADAM AND EVE, 121 

quickly showed that after all this man in 
London might be but a friend, that is, on 
Eve's part ; for with the bias of a lover s 
mind, Adam refused to think that any 
man could look on Eve's face and not 
grow covetous that she should be his own, 
and for this reason he would show her that 
the answering of inquiries like these had 
best be left in other hands than hers ; and 
then, out of the talk that would arise from 
this, the task of warning her would prove 
an easy one, and her friend's case become 
a peg on which to hang the cautions he 
wished to give, although he shrunk from 
naming Jerrem as the cause of these being 
given. 

Adam was still seemingly engrossed in 
these reflections when instinct made him 
stop, and he found himself in front of a 
long rickety gate, leading to the rather 
decayed-looking farmhouse at which it 



122 ADAM AND EVE, 

was Dicky Snobnose's habit to stay. For 
several minutes Adam had to stand still, 
trying to pull himself back into the every- 
day things of life. Why was he here ? 
what had he come for ? But before the 
questions were well asked, the errand was 
recalled, and he was able to put the neces- 
sary inquiries to the girl who was some- 
what lazily watching the scramble for food 
between two lean, long-bodied pigs. 

' Here I be, maister/ shouted a voice 
beyond ; and, turning, Adam saw Dicky 
making towards him through the accumu- 
lation of slush and dirt with which the 
house was surrounded. 

Adam began to give his instructions^ 
under the hope that Dicky, supposing he 
had merely come to deliver these, would 
allow him to depart without accompanying 
him — a vain delusion, soon dispelled by 
the assurance that he knowed he should 



ADAJlf AND EVE. 12S 

be wanted, and so had been taking it easy 
until he was fetched; and, seeing the 
companionship unavoidable, with as good 
a show of grace as could be given by 
sullen acquiescence, the two men set off at 
a brisk pace on their road back to Polperro. 
Dicky, a short, thick-set fellow between 
forty and fifty, had his sturdy person 
rendered conspicuous by a startling waist- 
coat of red-and-yellow-flowered velvet, the 
make of which, as regarded flaps and 
pockets, carried one back for at least half 
a century. Dicky was a general favourite, 
and, on account of the store of gossip he 
was always in possession of, accustomed to 
be treated with no ordinary consideration. 
His itinerant calling afforded him grand 
opportunities of collecting news, and they 
had not gone far before, with the good 
natured intent of enlivening the walk, he 
beofan retail ino^ some of these to Adam, 



124 ADAM AND EVE. 

but all to no purpose ; Adam evinced not 
the slightest interest, and as it gradually 
began to dawn upon Dicky that his elo- 
quence was being thrown away, he too 
relapsed into silence. 

' I b'lieve I was roused up a trifle too 
early this morning,' said Adam, by way of 
apology. 

' Awh r returned Dicky, ' I was a 
reckonin' that 'twas sommat arter that 
fashion. It doan't seem to accord with 'ee 
overmuch, neither.' 

' No,' said Adam ; ' I had a stiffish day. 
yesterday, and I expect I shan't have 
much time for keepin' my hands in my 
pockets to-day.' 

' For why, thin V 

* Oh ! 'tisn't the china. I know you can 
manage all that, but they're comin' to 
clear the liquor off from our place.' 

' Awh !' and Dicky drew in his breath 



ADAM AND EVE. 125 

in signification of his appreciation. ' Them's 
the times ! I minds bein' at plenty of 'em 
afore now — brandy — rum — so much and 
more than you like to call for ; nothin' 
scarce but watter. That's what's uji, is 
it V he added, with visible vexation. 
* Soas ! but I wishes I warn t astartin' ; it's 
'nuf to make anybody poor tempered to 
know they'm missin' such a game as that's 
like to be.' 

* I wish the whole concern was at the 
devil !' exclaimed Adam, passionately, the 
thought of how Eve might be affected by 
such coarse revelry coming with all its 
force before him. 

' Divil !' echoed Dicky ; ^ how divil I 
Awh, my dear!' he continued reprovingly, 
* you might find somefin' wus to wish he 
than a cargo o' good liquor. Why, what 
d'ee mane by such words — eh V 

' Mean, that I'm sick o' this everlasting 



126 ADAM AND EVE. 



drinking/ said Adam ; ^ what good does it 
do to a man V 

' Wa-all, that depends on how you 
carries what you takes/ said Dicky, sen- 
tentiously. ' I know you'm but a poor 
ship to pub a good cargo into, though why 
it should be so, seein' you was abroft up to 
it, I can't say. But there/ he added, after 
some reflection, ' 'tis the same with mate 
as 'tis with drink — some can't abide thickee 
a.nd t'other man can't touch thuckee ; now 
I'm none o' that sort, thank the Lord for 
it, I'm a regular epicoor, I be : I can ate 
and drink anything, I can, and that's as 
it should be, and what man was intended 
for/ 




CHAPTER VI. 




KOM the time she discovered 
Adam s absence, Eve had felt 
very uneasy. She had awoke 
with the desire of being propitiatory, and 
had come downstairs determined to make 
some amends for the now repented- of 
behaviour of the previous night. As 
Adam was the earhest riser in the house, 
no surprise was felt at his being already 
out of doors, but when the hour of break- 
fast came — had passed — and yet no sign of 
Adam, Eve hazarded various surmises as 



128 ADAM AND EVE. 

to what could have possibly become of him, 
surmises which Joan dismissed with the 
comforting assurance that wherever he was 
he was all right, as with all his tantrums 
he'd never yet been known to quarrel 
with his meat. 

Disposed to be critical, Eve could not 
refrain from thinking that Joan took the 
matter somewhat too indifferently, and at 
the same time she felt rather vexed with 
her for being so engrossed by Jerrem's 
wants and Jerrem's rattle^ for as such, in 
her present mood, she designated the 
light-hearted conversation with which he 
ao^ain tried to entertain them. Eve was 
in no humour for fun and banter, and the 
continuous flow of joke and laughter jarred 
upon and ruffled her temper. It was 
with a sigh of positive relief that she at 
length saw Jerrem take his departure, 
only, however, to return again some ten 



ADAM AND EVE. 129 

minutes later, with the welcome intelli- 
gence that the Lottery was coming in, and 
was already in sight. Full of excitement 
at the news, Joan caught up her hat to 
run out and o^et first sio-ht of Uncle 
Zebedee ; but although pressed to accom- 
pany her. Eve declined, pleading her lame 
foot as a reason for keeping quiet. 

Seeing she had stayed at home for the 
sake of rest, Eve mio;ht have been ex- 
pected to remain sitting quietly still ; 
instead of which, no sooner did she feel 
herself relieved from observation, than she 
got up and began wandering hither and 
thither with a purposeless air — fidgeting 
first with one thing and then another; some- 
times listening, sometimes starting ; until, 
finally, she went over to the window, and 
leaning against it, stood peering out with 
looks of anxious expectancy. Suddenly 
the inconsistency of this behaviour seemed 

VOL. II. 30 



1 30 ADAM AND E VE. 

to strike her, and with a resolute move- 
ment she turned away, found her work- 
box, took out her work, and seated her- 
self, with the evident determination of 
forcing herself to employment. The 
occupation, associated as it was with 
home, sent her thoughts thither — an un- 
defined feeling of emotion seemed to stir 
her inmost self, as, threading the mazes of 
that bygone life, memory brought back 
the past, and with it the thought of 
Reuben May — the love he had shown — the 
hopes he had formed — the promises they 
had exchanged. ' I'll write at once,' she 
thought, the recollection of the delayed 
letter coming to her aid, ^and tell him now 
that already 1 know I never shall go back 
away from here again, because ' — and here 
a pause came, and either that she saw or 
sought a solution to her motives, she sat 
dreaming on, with half-closed eyes, her 



ADAM AND EVE. 131 

hands, from Avhicli the work soon shpped, 
idly resting in her lap. 

Deaf to the noises that were going on 
around, Eve was roused by a fresh sound 
— a hand had been laid upon the latch. 
She started up — it was Adam. 

' Oh, Adam ! why, wherever have you 
been ? we couldn't think what had become 
of you/ she exclaimed, in stammering con- 
fusion. 

* Isn't there any word of father yet V 
said Adam, in a voice that sounded harsh 
and abrupt, while his eyes, which ignored 
her presence, looked round the room, as if 
expecting his question to be answered by 
some one else. 

' Yes ; the ship's coming in,' said Eve, 
' and Joan and Jerrem have gone to look 
at her.' 

'■ Are you by yourself, then ?' asked 
Adam, without any modulation of his voice. 

30—2 



132 ADAM AND E VE. 

'Yes, but 1 can get you whatever you 
want ; the things are all here for your 
breakfast — shall I make some ready for 
you ?' 

Adam vouchsafed no answer, but turning 
at once to a man who, she now saw, had 
been standing behind him, he said something 
which Eve could not hear ; then, without 
casting so much as a look in her direction, 
he stepped backwards, and pulled to the 
door; after Avhich, to Eve's amazement, 
she saw him and his companion pass by 
the window. 

Was it possible that he was gone % 

Eve ran to the side of the window which 
commanded the longest stretch, and craned 
her neck to look after them. Yes, they 
were no lono^er in sio^ht, and at the fact the 
tears of disappointment rose into her eyes. 

Why was he treating her like that ? 
What had she done to offend him % 



ADAM AND EVE. 133 

Under the fear of his displeasure Eve's 
heart sank as it had never done before ; for 
though she had had a presentiment that he 
was not pleased, she had in no way expected 
to see the grave change betrayed in Adam's 
face and voice. Could it be because of 
this or that ? 

Eve was racking her brain with fifty 
suggestions, w4ien click went the latch. 

Adam had returned, and this time, closing 
the door after him, he drew the bolt and 
fastened it ; then he came over and stood in 
front of Eve, not speaking to her, but look- 
ing with an expression which made her 
throw aside her coyness, and say : 

' Oh, Adam, I'm so glad you have come 
back ! You ain't angry with me, are you % 
When you went away without speaking like 
that,^I thought I had offended you.' 

* And if you had/ said Adam, half ques- 
tioningly, ' you wouldn't care ?' 



134 ADAM AND EVE. 

* You have no right to say that — unless/ 
she added, raising her soft brown eyes to 
his face, ^ you want to make me say that I 
should care.' 

Adam threw his arms round her, and 
holding her so that he could look into her 
face, he said : 

'- Give me your promise to come out 
with me sometime this evening ; 'tis no use 
beginning to ask what I want to now, be- 
cause the others will be back at any minute. 
But so soon as this bustle is over, promise 
me that you'll listen to what I've got to 
say ; I must tell it to you before you sleep 
to-night ; 'twould send me wild to pass 
another twenty-four hours like this last 
has been.' 

' It must not be for very far,' said Eve, 
by way of not seeming too ready to comply ; 
' because, though my foot isn't painful, it is 
stiff.' 



ADAM AND EVE. 135 

' I'll see you shan't go too far,' said Adam, 
straining to keep down by commonplace 
replies the words he longed to speak. 
* 'Tis hard to bring myself to stay till then/ 
he added, relieving a little of his pent-up 
emotion by a long-drawn sigh; ^ only I'm 
fearino' that the rest will come. Ah 1' he 
exclaimed, as Joan's voice was heard out- 
side : ' here they are — I was sure they 
wouldn't be long. So 'tis this evening, re- 
member, and that seals the promise.' 

' Oh — ' but Eve had to swallow down 
the remainder of her protest, for — the bolt 
having been quietly drawn — the door 
opened and admitted Joan, who, followed 
by Dicky Snobnose, had come back to put 
the things aside, and get a clear space 
ready for the arrival of the china. The 
expression upon Adam's face, combined 
with the information which Dicky had just 
imparted, satisfied Joan that nothing more 



136 ADAM AND E VE. 

than the hope of doing a good stroke of 
business had caused Adam's absence, and 
without hesitation she said : 

'Why, Adam, whatever made 'ee start 
off like that this mornin' without a bite or 
sup inside 'ee ? There wasn't no occasion 
for it. I'm sure you'd only got to 
say the word and breakfast 'ud ha' bin 
ready.' 

' Oh, I took care of myself/ said Adam, 
cheerily ; ^ I had a capital breakfast up to 
mill, with yer mother. I wanted to see 
her, so it all fitted in.' 

' There, now,' exclaimed Joan ; ' didn't I 
tell 'ee he wouldn't forget number wan ? 
Eve,' she said, turning to Adam, ' would 
keep on thinkin' you'd started off to Looe, 
or gone back to Dock or somewheres ; her 
couldn't ate her own breakfast, 'cos I 
believe her thought you'd got none.' 

Adam stole a glance which told his 



ADAM AND EVE. 137 

gratitude, while Eve, with a little con- 
fusion, said : 

' Oh, I suppose it's from being in Lon- 
don that I can't bear people to be away 
without knowing where they are. There,' 
she added, laughing, ' they would have 
sent the bell-man after you, and had you 
cried.' 

^Lord save us from they London ways !' 
said Dicky, with an ominous shake of the 
head. 'I've bin hearin' a goodish bit o' talk 
o' late about the things they goes on with up 
there, and I can't say it 'zackly chimes in 
with my voos o' what's right and fitty. 
But there,' he added, catching sight of 
Adam's face, * that's axin pardon, miss, 
for bein' so bould as to spake my mind 
afore you, who's comed frae the place ; 
tho' I dessay, if the truth was spoken, 
you'm glad enough to be where you bain't 
scrooged up for elbow-room, and 's able to 



138 ADAM AND EVE. 

draw a breath o' air without waitin' your 
turn to do it in. A^wh, 'twouldn't suit me 
at all, that wouldn't ; and so long as King 
George don't send word he can't do no 
longer without me noways, you won't 
catch Dicky I up to London.' 

^ Uncle's all but in,' said Joan, turning 
to Adam ; ' and Jerrem's waitin' down to 
quay, so that they'll bring the things oif to 
once. I didn't count 'pon this rout-out 
comin' yet whiles, for don't 'ee mind, Eve, 
'tis to-day us promised we was to go up to 
Aunt Hepzibah's.' 

' Well, why not go then X returned 
Adam ; '■ there's nothin' to keep you here.' 

'What! and uncle just comed back! 
Well, you'm a nice one, I must say. Who's 
goin' to look after folks, and see they have 
all they wants to ate and drink ? — not you, 
I'll lay a wager.' 

' You're pretty right there,' said Adam ; 



ADAM AND E VE. 1 39 

' but because you care to be here is no 
reason for Eve staying. It'll be nothing to 
suit her taste, I'm sure of that, and I'd 
very much rather she was out of it all ; 
tisn't fitting company for women.' 

' Lord save us !' exclaimed Joan, her 
quick temper rising ; ' how mighty par- 
ticklar we'm grow'd all to wance ! The time 
ain't so very far off when nothin' could be 
done right if Joan wasn't here to look 
after it all. Not fittin' company for women ! 
well I never ! What d'ee call me then ? 
Ain't I a woman, that you've tooked 
all this time to find out who 'tis fit to 
knaw and w^ho 'tisn't % Things is comin' to 
a nice pass, I think.' 

' Oh, Joan !' exclaimed Eve ; ^ you 
mustn't take it like that. Adam means 
us both, of course. Why, didn't you tell 
me yourself what quarrelling and fighting 
went on when these men came to take 



140 ADAM AND EVE. 

away the spirits ? You said you'd give any- 
thing to be out of it all.' 

^ Sayin's wan thing and manin' it's an- 
other/ said Joan, sulkily ; ^ but there, go 
if you like. T don't want to hinder 'ee ; 
and you can tell Aunt Hepzibah that 
Adam's sent 'ee up, 'cos you shan't be 
hurted by the company we keeps down 
here. I'm sure,' she added, turning round 
to Adam fiercely, ' I wonders you let her 
bide so much with me. I shouldn't, if I 
was you.' 

' Oh, Joan !' and Eve's voice and face 
expressed the pain these hasty words gave 
her. ' I'm sure you don't mean what you 
say.' 

^ Iss I do, every word, and no wonder 
neither. I knew you'm chaney and I'm 
cloam without he rammin' it down my 
throat all dav lonof.' 

Adam gave a little shake of the head 



ADAM AND EVE. 141 

towards Eve, as if to say Joan's present 
disj^osition was hopeless ; and feeling things 
might right themselves better if he was 
absent, he said something about the Lottery, 
and stepj)ed out to stroll down towards the 
quay. Dicky, who had been keeping ip 
the background, utterly unable to com- 
prehend the ground of this contention, 
watched Adam out of sight, and then 
broke out with : 

^ Awh, Joan Hocken, my dear, you'm 
everybody's friend, you be : couldn't 'ee 
consave no ways o' puttin' the car'yen 
away o' this gashly auld chaney off till to- 
morrow? 'Tis beyond bearin' to lave now 
when such doin's is com in' on ; what d'ee 
say to it, eh 1 I'll answer to be sober 
enuf by twelve o'clock to the furthermost, 
and that 'ud be heaps o' time to make the 
journey in.' 

' I can't do nothin' to help 'ee,' said 
Joan, curtly ; ' 'tis no good axin' me.' 



1 42 ADAM AND E VE. 

^ Now doan't 'ee say that,' continued 
Dicky, in his most coaxing voice. ' Come, 
now, let's see if us can't schame it 
out together; for 'tis 'nuf to send anybody 
mazed to knaw they'm turnin' their backs 
on such a trate as this. Lors ! I minds 
the last wan that I was to, as if 'twas 
yesterday. 'Twas up to Cap'n John's; there 
was brandy for the axin', and rum swim- 
min' 'bout like watter. A load o' the kegs 
got busted accidental for the puppose, and 
'twas catch who could ; some of 'em in 
their hands and some in their shoes, till 
we was aal drunk together, rowlin' 'bout 
the roads and singin', and I don't know 
what. Nor nobody to tell neither, for 
there was norra wan sober 'mono\st us.' 

' Well, you needn't look for that here,' 
said Joan, sharply ; ' Adam '11 keep too 
good a look-out for that.' 

* Iss, I reckon,' said Dicky, with a know- 



ADAM AND EVE. 143 

ing wink ; ' that's if he ain't doubled by 
Jerrem. Do 'ee mind the trick Maister 
Jerrem played last May, when he got un 
away and served the quay all round while 
he was agone? Awh, jimmery! wasn't there 
a kick-up when Adam corned back ! he was 
poor tempered, and no mistake. And that 
minds me,' he exclaimed, with an energetic 
movement of his fist, ' I'll seek out Jer- 
rem to wance, and tell un what 'tis I'm 
aimin' at. I'll bet a guinea to a brass farden 
but, if 'tis to be done, he'll wark the oracle 
for me.' 

Joan waited for him to get clear of the 
door, then, going into the front room, 
where Eve was sitting, she said : 

' Don't think nothing o' what I said 
just now, Eve ; 'twas only to tease Adam 
a bit. I meant 'ee to go to Aunt 
Hepzibah's all the time, for you'd only be 
in the way here if you was to stay.' 



1 44 ADAM AND E VE. 



^ Not if I could help you, Joan !' 
^ Iss, but you can't help me ; 'sides which 
they'm a rough lot, and, as Adam says, not 
fit women's company. I'd go too if 'twasn't 
for uncle ; but if he gets a little bit over- 
took, Adam's got no patience with 'en, 
and there's no more trustin' to Jerrem 
than if he was a child ; 'sides which, when 
the drinks on, they two 's sure to sail in one 
boat.' 




CHAPTER YII. 




UNT HEPZIBAH'S house stood 
well up the hill, far enough away 
from the village to escape the 
hubbub and confusion which, during the 
removal of any considerable store of spirit, 
was most certain to prevail. 

Hidden away in the recesses of a tortu- 
ous valley, amid hills whose steep sides 
bristled with tier after tier of bare, broken 
rocks, to reach or to leave Polperro by any 
other mode than on foot was a task of con- 
siderable difficulty. Waggons were unknown, 

VOL. II. 31 



146 ADAM AND EVE. 

carts not available ; and it was only at the 
risk of its rider's life and limbs that any 
horse ventured along the perilous descents 
and ascents of the old Talland road. Out 
of these obstacles, therefore, arose the 
necessity for a number of men who could 
manage the drays, dorsals, and crooks 
which were the more common and favoured 
modes of conveyance. With the natural 
love of a little excitement, combined with 
the desire to do as you would be done by, 
it was only thought neighbourly to lend a 
hand at whatever might be going on ; and 
the general result of this sociability was, 
that half the place might be found congre- 
gated about the house, assisting to the best 
of their ability to impede all progress, and 
successfully turn any attempt at work into 
confusion and disorder. 

To add to this tumult, a keg of spirits 
was kept on tap, to which all comers were 



JDAAf AND E VE. 147 

made free, so that the crowd grew first 
noisy and good-tempered, then riotously 
merry and quarrelsomely drunk, until occa- 
sions had been known when a general fight 
had ensued, the kegs had got burst open 
and upset, the men who were hired to de- 
liver them lay maddened or helpless in the 
street, while the spirit, for which liberty 
and life had been risked, flowed into the 
gutters like so much water. 

In vain had Adam, to whom these scenes 
afforded nothing but anger and disgust, 
used all his endeavours to persuade his 
fellow-workers to give up running the 
vessel ashore with the cargo in her. The 
Polperro men, except under necessity, 
turned a deaf ear to his entreaties, and in 
many cases preferred risking a seizure to 
foregoing the foolhardy recklessness of 
openly defying the arm of the law. The 
plan which Adam would have seen uni- 

31—2 



148 ADAM AND E VE. 

versally adopted here, as it was in most of 
the other places round the coast, was that 
of dropping the kegs, shmg on a rope, into 
the sea, and (securing them by an anchor) 
leaving them there until some convenient 
season when, certain of not being disturbed, 
they were landed and either removed to a 
more distant hiding-place, or conveyed at 
once to their final destination. But all 
this involved immediate trouble and delay, 
and the men who, without a complaint or 
murmur, would endure weeks of absence 
from their homes, the moment those homes 
came in sight grew irritable under control 
and impatient of all authority. 

With a spirit of independence which 
verged on rebellion, with an uncertain 
temperament in which good and bad lay 
jostled together so haphazard, that to cal- 
culate which at any given moment might 
come uppermost was an impossibility, these 



ADA M AND E VE. 1 49 

sons of the sea were hard to lead, and im- 
possible to drive. Obstinate, credulous, 
superstitious, they looked askant on inno- 
vation and hated change, fearing lest it 
should turn away the luck which they 
vaunted in the face of discretion ; making 
it their boast that so many 3^ears had gone 
by since any mischance had overtaken the 
Polperro folk, that they could afford to 
laugh at the soldiers before their faces, 
and snap their fingers at the cruisers be- 
hind their backs. 

Under these circumstances, it w^as not 
to be su23posed that Adam's arguments 
proved very effective ; no proposition he 
made was ever favourably received, and 
this one was more than usually unpopular. 
So, in spite of his prejudice against a rule 
which necessitated the sequence of riot 
and disorder, he had been forced to give in, 
and to content himself by using his autho- 



150 ADAM AND EVE. 

rity to control violence, and stem as much 
as possible the tide of excess. It was no 
small comfort to him that Eve was absent, 
and the knowledge served to smooth his 
temper and keep down his irritability. 
Besides which, his spirits had risen to no 
common height, a frequent result of the 
reaction which sets in after great emotion, 
although Adam placed his happy mood to 
the credit of Eve s kind words and soft 
glances. 

It was late in the afternoon before the 
kegs were all got out and safely cleared off; 
but at length the last man took his de- 
parture, the visitors began to disperse. 
Uncle Zebedee and Jerrem disappeared 
with them, and the house was left to the 
undisturbed possession of Joan and Adam. 

' I shall bring Eve back when I come,' 
Adam said, reappearing from the smarten- 
ing up he had been giving to himself 



ADAM AND EVE. 151 



' All right/ replied Joan, but in such a 
weary voice that Adam's heart smote him 
for leavino' her sittinof there alone, and 
"with a great effort at self-sacrifice he said : 
' Would you like to go too ?* 

^ Iss, if I could go two p'raps I should,' 
retorted Joan ; ' but as I'm only one, 
p'r'aps I might find myself one in the way. 
There, go along with 'ee, do,' she added, 
seeing him still hesitate. ' You knaw if 
tliere'd bin any chance o' my goin', you 
wouldn't ha' axed me.' 

A little huffed by this home-thrust, Adam 
waited for nothing more, but turning away, 
he closed the door after him, and set off at 
a brisk pace up the Lansallos road, towards 
Aunt Hepzibah's house. 

The light had now all but faded out, and 
over everything seaward a cloudy film of 
mist hung thick and low ; but this would 
soon lift up and be blown away, leaving 



1 52 ADAM AND E VE. 

the night clear and the sky bright with 
the ghtter of a myriad stars, beneath 
whose twinkhng light Adam would tell his 
tale of love, and hear the sweet reply ; and 
at the thought a thousand hopes leaped 
into life, and made his pulses quicken, and 
his nerves thrill. Strive as he might, 
arrived at Aunt Hepzibah's he could 
neither enter upon nor join in any general 
conversation ; and so marked was his silence 
and embarrassed his manner, that the as- 
sembled party came to the charitable con- 
clusion that something had gone wrong in 
the adjustment of his liquor, and knowing 
it was ticklish work to meddle with a 
man who, with a glass beyond, had fallen a 
drop short, they made no opposition to 
Eve's speedy preparations for im,mediate 
departure. 

' Oh Eve !' Adam exclaimed, giving vent 
to deep-drawn sighs of relief, as, having 



ADAM AND EVE. 153 

turned from the farm-gate, tliey were out 
of sight and hearing of the house. ' I 
hope you're not vexed with me for 
seeming such a fool as IVe been feehng 
there. I have been so longing for the time 
to come when I could speak to you, that 
for thinking of it I couldn't talk about the 
things they asked me of 

* Why, whatever can you have to say of 
so much importance X stammered Eve, 
trying to speak as if she was unconscious 
of the subject he was about to broach, and 
this from no coquetry, but because of an 
embarrassment so allied to that which 
Adam felt, that if he could have looked 
into her heart, he would have seen his 
answer in its tumultuous beating. 

* I think you know,' said Adam, softly ; 
and as he spoke he stooped to catch a 
glimpse of her averted face. ' It's only 
what I'd on my lips to say last night, only 



154 ADAM AND E VE. 

the door was opened before I'd time to get 
the words out, and afterwards you wouldn't 
so much as give me a look, although,' 
he added reproachfully, ' you sat up ever so 
long after I was gone, and only ran away 
when you thought that I was coming.' 

^ No, indeed I didn't do that,' said Eve, 
earnestly ; * that was Joan who you heard. 
I went upstairs almost the minute after 
you left.' 

* Is that really true ?' exclaimed Adam, 
seizing both her hands, and holding 
them tight within his own. ^ Eve, you 
don't know what I suffered, thinking you 
were caught by Jerrem's talk, and didn't 
care whether I felt hurt or pleased. I lay 
awake most of the night, thinking whether 
it could ever be that you could care for me, 
as by some magic you've made me care for 
you. I fancied .' 

But here a rustle in the hedge made 



ADAiM AND E VE, 1 55 

them both start. Adam turned quickly 
round, but nothing ^vas to be seen. 

' 'Twas most Hke nothing but a stoat or 
a rabbit/ he said, vexed at the interruption; 

* still 'tis all but certain there'll be some- 
body upon the road. Would you mind 
crossing over to the cliff? 'tis only a little 
bit down the other side.' 

Eve raised no objection, and turning, 
they picked their way along the field, got 
over the gate, and down through the 
tangle of gorse and briar to the path 
which ran along the Lansallos side of the 
cliff. Every step of the way was familiar 
to Adam, and he so guided Eve as to 
bring her down to a rough bit of rock 
which projected out and formed a seat on a 
little flat of ground overhanging a deep gully. 

' There,' he said, in a tone of satisfaction, 

* this isn't so bad, is it ? You won't feel 
cold here, shall you V 



156 ADAM AND EVE. 

' No, not a bit,' said Eve. 

Then there was a pause, which Eve 
broke by first giving a nervous, half-sup- 
pressed sigh, and then saying : 

^ It's very dark to-night, isn't it f 

' Yes,' said Adam, who had been think- 
ing how he should best begin his subject. ' I 
thought the mist was going to clear off 
better than this, but that seems to look 
like dirty wxather blowing up ;' and he 
pointed to the watery shroud, behind 
which lay the waning moon. 

*I wish a storm would come on,' said Eve. 
' I should so like to see the sea tossing up, 
and the waves dashing over everything.' 

* What, while we two are sitting here V 
said Adam, smilinof. 

* No ; of course I don't mean now, this 
very minute, but sometime.' 

* Sometime when I'm away at sea ?' put 
in Adam. 



ADAM AND EVE, IST 



Eve gave a little shudder. 

' Not for the world. I should be 
frightened to death if a storm came on 
and you away. But you don't go out in 
very bad weather, do you, Adam V 

'Not if I can help it, I don't,' he 
answered. ^ Why, would you mind if I 
did ?' and he bent down so that he could 
look into her face. ' Eh, Eve, would you V 

His tone and manner conveyed so much 
more than the words, that Eve felt it 
impossible to meet his gaze. 

' I don't know,' she faltered. ' What do 
you ask me for ?' 

' What do I ask you for f he repeated, 
unable longer to repress the passionate 
torrent which he had been striving to keep 
under. ' Because suspense seems to drive 
me mad. Because, try as I may, I can't 
keep silent any longer. I wanted, before 
I said more, to ask you about somebody 



158 ADAM AND EVE. 



youVe left behind you at London ; but it's 
of no use. No matter what he may be to 
you, I must tell you that I love you, Eve ; 
that you've managed in this little time to 
make every bit of my heart your own.' 

' Somebody in London 1' Eve silently 
repeated. ^ Who could he mean ? Not 
Keuben May ; how should he know about 
him?' 

The words of love that followed this 
surprise seemed swallowed up in her desire 
to have her curiosity satisfied and her 
fears set at rest. 

' What do you mean about somebody 
I've left in London V she said ; and the 
question, abruptly put, jarred upon Adam's 
excited mood, strained as his feelings were, 
each to its utmost tension. This man she 
had left behind then could, even at a 
moment like this, stand uppermost in her 
mind. 



ABAM AND EVE. 159 

' A man, I mean, to whom, before you 
left, you gave a promise ;' and this time, 
so at variance was the voice with Adam's 
former tones of passionate avowal, that, 
coupled Avith the shock of hearing that 
word * promise,' Eve's heart quailed, 
and to keep herself from betraying her 
agitation she w^as forced to say, with an 
air of ill-feigned amazement : 

* A man I left — somebody I gave a pro- 
mise to ? I really don't know what you 
mean/ 

' Oh yes, you do,' and by this time every 
trace of wooing had passed from Adam's 
face, and all the love so late set flowing 
from his heart was choked and forced back 
on himself 'Try and remember some 
fellow who thinks he's got the right to ask 
how you're getting on among the country 
bumpkins ; whether you ain't tired of them 
yet ; and when you're coming back. Per- 



160 ADAM AND EVE. 

haps,' he added, goaded on by Eve's con- 
tinued silence, ' 'twill help you if I say 
'twas the one who came to see you off 
aboard the Mary Jane. I suppose you 
haven't forgot him T 

Eve's blood boiled at the sneer conveyed 
in Adam's tone and look. Raising her eyes 
defiantly to his, she said : 

* Forgotten him, certainly not ! If you 
had said anything about the Mai^y Jane 
before, I should have known directly who 
you meant. That person is a very great 
friend of mine.' 

' Friend !' said Adam. 

' Yes, friend ! the greatest friend I've 
got.' 

' Oh, I'm very glad I know that ; be- 
cause I don't approve of friends. The 
woman I ask to be my wife must be con- 
tented with me, and not want anything 
from anybody else.' 



ADAM AND EVE. 161 

*A most amiable decision to come to/ 
said Eve; ' I hope you may find somebody 
contented to be so dictated to.' 

' I thought I had found somebody 
ah'eady,' said Adam, letting a softer inflec- 
tion come into his voice. ' I fancied that at 
least, Eve, you were made out of different 
stuff to the women who are always hanker- 
ing to catch every man's eye.' 

* And pray w^hat should make you alter 
your opinion ? Am I to be thought the 
worse of because an old friend, who had 
promised he would be a brother to me, 
offers to see me off on my journey, and I 
let him come ? You must have a very 
poor opinion of women, Adam, or at least 
a very poor opinion of me.' 

And the air of offended dignity with 
which she gave this argument forced 
Adam to exclaim : 

' Oh, Eve ! forgive me if I have spoken 
VOL. II. 32 



162 ADAM AND EVE. 

hastily; it is only because I think so much 
more of you — place you so much higher 
than any other girl I ever saw — that makes 
me expect so much more of you. Of course/ 
he continued, finding she remained silent, 
^ you had every right to allow your friend 
to go with you, and it was only natural he 
should wish to do so ; only when a man's 
so torn by love as I am, he feels jealous of 
every eye that's turned upon you : each 
look you give another seems something 
robbed from me.' 

Eve's heart began to soften ; her indig- 
nation was beginning to melt away. 

* And when I heard he was claiming a 
promise, I ' 

' What promise f said Eve, sharply. 

* What promise did you give him ?' re- 
plied Adam, warily, suspicion giving to 
security another thrust. 

' That's not to the point,' said Eve. * You 



ADAM AND EVE. 163 

say I gave him a promise : I ask what that 
promise was V 

'The very question I put to you. I 
know what he says it was, and I want to 
hear if what he says is true. Surely/ he 
added, seeing she hesitated, ' if this is only 
a friend, and a friend who is to be looked 
on like a brother, you can't have given him 
any promise that if you can remember you 
can't repeat.' 

Eve's face betrayed her displeasure. 

* Keally, Adam,' she said, ' I know of 
no right that you have to take me to task 
in this manner.' 

' No,' he answered ; ' I was going to ask 
you to give me that right, when you inter- 
rupted me ; however, that's ver}'- soon set 
straight. I've told you I love you, now 
I ask you if you love me ? and, if so, 
whether you will marry me ? After 
you've answered me, I shall be able 

32—2 



1 64 ADAM AND E VE. 

to put my questions without fear of 
offence.' 

' Will you indeed !' said Eve. ' I should 
think that would rather depend upon what 
the answer may be.' 

^ Whatever it may be, I'm waiting for it/ 
said Adam, grimly. 

'Let me see, I must consider what it 
was I was asked,' said Eve. 'First, if ' 

' Oh, don't trouble about the first ; I shall 
be satisfied of that, if you answer the second 
and tell me you will accept me as a hus- 
band.' 

* Say keeper.' 

' Keeper, if that pleases you better.' 
' Thank you very much, but I don't feel 
quite equal to the honour.- I'm not so 
tired yet of doing what pleases myself, that 
I need submit my thoughts and looks and 
actions to another person.' 

* Then you refuse to be my wife ?' 



ADAM AND EVE. 165 

^Yes, I do.' 

' And you cannot return the love I offer 
you?' 

Eve was silent. 

^ Do you hear V he said. 

'Yes, I hear.' 

' Then answer : Have I got your love, or 
haven't I V 

^ Whatever love you might have had/ 
she broke out passionately, ' you've taken 
care to kill.' 

* Kill !' he repeated ; ' it must have been 
precious delicate, if it couldn't stand the 
answering of one question. Look here, 
Eve, when I told you I had given you my 
heart and every grain of love in it, I only 
spoke the truth ; but unless you can give 
me yours as whole and as entire as I have 
given mine, 'fore God I'd rather jump off 
yonder rock than face the misery that 
would come upon us both. I know what 



166 ADAM AND E VE. 

'tis to see another take what should be 
yours — to see another given what you are 
craving for. The torture of that past is dead 
and gone, but the devil it bred in me lives 
still, and woe betide the man or woman 
who rouses it.' 

Instinctively Eve shrank back ; the look 
of pent-up passion frightened her, and 
made her whole body shiver. 

' There, there, don't alarm yourself,' said 
Adam, passing his hand over his forehead, 
as if to brush away the traces which this 
outburst had occasioned : ^ I don't want to 
frighten you, all I want to know is — can 
you give me the love I ask of you V 

' I couldn't bear to be suspected,' faltered 
Eve. 

' Then act so that you would be above 
suspicion.' 

* With a person always on the watch 
looking out for this and that, so that you 



ADAM AND EVE. 167 

would be afraid to speak or open your 
mouth, I don't see how one could possibly 
be happy/ said Eve. ' All you did, all you 
said, might be taken wrongly, and when 
you were most innocent you might be 
thought most guilty. No; I don't think 
I could stand that, Adam.' 

' Very well,' he said coldly ; ^ if you feel 
your love is too weak to bear that — and a 
great deal more than that — you are very 
wise to withhold it from me : those who 
have much to give require much in return.' 

* Oh, don't think I haven't that in me 
which would make my love equal yours 
any day,' said Eve, nettled at the doubt 
which Adam had flung at her. ' If I gave 
any one my heart, I should give it all ; but 
when I do that, I hope it will be to some- 
body who won't doubt me and suspect me.' 

' Then I'd advise you not to give them 
cause to,' said Adam. 



168 ADAM AND EVE. 

* And I'd advise you to keep your cau- 
tions for those that need them/ replied 
Eve, rising from where she had been sitting, 
and turning her face in the direction of 
home. 

* Oh, you needn't fear being troubled by 
any more I shall say/ said Adam ; ' I'm 
only sorry that I've been led to say what 
I have.' 

^ Pray don't let that trouble you ; such 
things, with me, go in at one ear and out at 
the other.' 

* In that case I won't waste any more 
words/ said Adam; 'so if you can keep 
your tongue stilly you needn't fear being 
obliged to listen to anything I shall say.' 

Eve] gave a little scornful inclination of 
her head, in token of the accejDted silence 
between them, and in silence the two com- 
menced their walk, and took their way 
towards home. 




t^^v-^ 



CHAPTER VIII. 




XCEPT the lonof- surs^inQf roll of 
the waves, as in monotonous 
succession they dashed and 
broke against the rocks, not a sound was 
to be heard. The night had grown more 
lowering ; the sprinkle of stars was hid 
behind the dense masses of cloud, through 
which, ever and anon, the moon, with 
shadowy face, broke out and feebly cast 
down a orhmmeringf liofht. Below, the out- 
spread stretch of water lay dark and 
motionless, its glassy surface cold and 



1 70 ADAM AND E VE. 

glittering like steel. Walking a little 
in the rear of Adam, Eve shuddered as 
her eyes fell on the depths, over whose 
brink the narrow path they trod seemed 
hanging. Instinctively she shrank closer 
to the cliff-side, to be caught by the long 
trails of bramble w^hich, with bracken and 
gorse, made the steep descent a bristly 
wall. Insensibly affected by external 
surroundings, unused to such complete 
darkness, the sombre aspect of the scene 
filled her with nervous apprehension; every 
bit of jutting rock she stumbled against 
was a yawning precipice, and at each step 
she took she died some different death. 
The terrors of her mind entirely absorbed 
all her former indifference and ill-humour, 
and she would have gladly welcomed any 
accident which would have afforded her a 
decent pretext for breaking this horrible 
silence. But nothing occurred, and they 



ADAM AND EVE. 171 

reached the open piece of green, and were 
close on the crumbHno- ruins of St. Peter s 
chapel, without a word having passed 
between them. The moon struggled out 
with PTeater effort, and to Eve's relief 
showed that the zigzag dangers of the path 
were past, and there was now nothing 
worse to fear than what might happen on 
any uneven grassy slope. Moreover, the 
buzz of voices was near, and though they 
could not see the persons speaking. Eve 
knew, by the sound, that they could not 
be very far distant. Having before him 
the peculiar want of reticence generally 
displayed by the Polperro folk, Adam 
would have gfiven much to have been in a 
position to ask Eve to remount the hill 
and get down by the other side ; but under 
present circumstances he felt it impossible 
to make any suggestion : things must take 
their course. And without a word of warn- 



1 72 ADAM AND E VE. 

ing he and Eve gained the summit of the 
raised elevation which forms a sheltered 
background to this favourite loitering- 
place, at once to find themselves the centre 
of observation to a group of men whose 
noisy discussion they had apparently in- 
terrupted. 

' Why, 'tis my son Adam, ain't it '?' ex- 
claimed the voice of Uncle Zebedee ; and 
at the sound of a little mingled hoarseness 
and thickness Adam's heart sank within 
him. ' And who's this he's a got with un, 
ehr 

' 'Tis me, Uncle Zebedee,' said Eve, 
stepping down on to the flat, and advanc- 
ing towards where the old man stood 
lounging. •' Eve, you know.' 

' Awh, Eve, is it '?' exclaimed Zebedee. 
' Why, how long's t'wind veered round to 
your quarter, my maid ? Be you two 
sweetheartin, then — eh ?' 



ADAM AND E VE. 1 73 



* I've been all day up to Aunt Hep- 
zibah's,' said Eve, quickly, trying to cover 
her confusion, ' and Adam came to fetch 
me back : that's how it is we're together/ 

' Wa-al, but he needn't ha' fetched 'ee 
'less he'd got a mind for yer company, I 
s'pose,' returned Zebedee, with a meaning 
laugh. * Come, come now ! 't 'ull niver do 
for 'ee to try to cabobble Uncle Zibedee ! 
So you and Adam's courtyin' be 'ee '? 
Wa-al, there's nuffin to be said agen that, I 
s'pose V and he looked round as if inviting 
concurrence or contradiction. ^ Her's my 
poor brother Andrer's little maid, ye knaw, 
shipmates,' and here he made a futile at- 
tempt to present Eve to the assembled 
company, 'what's dead — and drownded — 
and gone to Davy's locker ; so not- 
withstandin' I'd lashins sooner 'twas our 
Joan he'd ha' fix'd on — Lord ha' massy !' 
he added, parenthetically, * Joan's worth a 



1 74 ADAM AND E VE. 

horsgead o' she — still, what's wan man's 
mate's another man's pison; and, howsome- 
dever that lies, I reckon it needn't go for 
to hinder me fra' drinkin' their healths in 
a drap o' good liquor. So come along, my 
hearties ;' and making a movement which 
sent him forward with a lurch, he began 
mutterinof somethinof about his sea-le^s 
the effect of w^iich AVas drowned in the 
shout evincing the ready satisfaction with 
w^hich this proposal for friendly conviviality 
was hailed. 

Eve drew in her breath, trying to gather 
up courage and combat down the horrible 
suspicion that Uncle Zebedee was not 
quite himself — didn't exactly know what 
he was saying — had taken too much to 
drink. With congratulatory intent she 
found herself jostled against by two or 
three others near her, whose noisy glee 
and uncertain gait only increased her fears. 



AD A AT AND EVE. 175 

What should she do ? Where could she 
go ? What had become of Adam ? surely 
he would not go and leave her amongst 

But already her question was answered 
by a movement from some one behind, who, 
with a dexterous interposition, succeeded 
in placing himself between Uncle Zebedee 
and herself 

* Father !' and Adam's voice sounded 
more harsh and stern than usual, ' leave 
Eve to go home as she likes ; she's not 
used to these sort o' wavs, and she will not 
take things as you mean them.' 

' Eh ! what ? How not mane 'em T ex- 
claimed old Zebedee, taken aback by his 
son's sudden appearance. ' I arn't a said 
DO harm that I knaws by; there's no 'fence 
in givin' the maid a wet welcome, I s'pose.' 

A buzz of dissatisfaction at Adam's in- 
terference inspired Zebedee with renewed 
confidence, and with two or three sways in 



176 ADAM AND EVE. 

order to get the right balance, he managed 
to bring himself to a standstill right in 
front of Adam, into whose face he looked 
with a comical expression of defiance and 
humour, as he said : 

'Why, come long with us, lad, do 'ee, and 
name the liquor yerself, and see it passes 
round free, and turn and turn about ; and 
let's hab a song or two, and get up Rozzy 
Treloar wi' his fiddle, and Zeke Orgall 
there 'ull dance us a hornpipe,' and he 
began a double-shuffle with his feet, adding, 
as his dexterity came to a sudden and some- 
what unsteady finish, ^ 'Tis a ill wind that 
Mows nobody no good, and a poor heart 
what niver rejices/ 

Eve during this time had been vainly 
endeavouring to make her escape, an im- 
possibility, as Adam saw, under existing 
circumstances, and this decided him to use 
no further argument; but, with his arm 



ADAM AND EVE. 177 

put through liis father's, and in company 
with the rest of the group, he apparently 
conceded to their wishes, and motioning 
Eve on, the party proceeded along the 
path, down the steps, and towards the 
quay, until they came in front of the Three 
Pilchards, now the centre of life and 
jollity, with the sound of voices and the 
preparatory scraping of a fiddle to enhance 
the promise of comfort which glowed in 
the ruddy reflection sent by the bright 
lights and cheerful fire through the red 
window-curtain. 

' Now, father,' exclaimed Adam, with a 
resolute grip of the old man's arm, ' you 
and me are homeward-bound. We'll wel- 
come our neighbours some other time, but 
for this evening let's say good-night to 
them.' 

* Good-night!' repeated Zebedee; 'how 
good -night ? Why, what 'ud be the manin' 

VOL. II. 33 



178 ADAM AND E VE. 

o' that ? None o' us ain't agoin to part 
company here, I hopes. We'm all goin' 
to cast anchor to the same moorings — eh, 
mates ?' 

' No, no, no !' said Adam, impatiently ; 
' you come along home with me, now.' 

' Iss, iss ; all right,' laughed the old 
man, trying to wriggle out of his son's 
grasp ; ^ only not just yet awhiles. I'm 
agoin' in here to drink your good health, 
Adam lad, and all here's acomin' with me 
— ain't us, hearties V 

' Pack of stuff — drink my health !' ex- 
claimed Adam. 'There's no more reason 
for drinking my health to-night than any 
other night. Come along now, father ; 
you've had a hard day of it, you know, 
and when you get home you can have 
whatever you want quietly by your own 
fireside.' 

But Zebedee, though perfectly good- 



ADA M AND EVE. 179 

humoured, was by no means to be per- 
suaded ; he continued to laugh and writhe 
about as if the fact of his detention was 
merely a good joke on Adam's part, the 
lookers-on abetting and applauding his 
determination, until Adam's temper could 
restrain itself no longer, and with no very 
pleasant explosion of wrath he let go his 
hold, and intimated that his father was 
free to take what course pleased him most. 

' That's right, lad !' exclaimed old Zebe- 
dee, heartily, shaking himself together. 
' You'm a good son, and a capital sailor- 
man, but you'm pore company, Adam — 
verra pore company.' 

And with this truism (to which a general 
shout gave universal assent) ringing in 
his ears, Adam strode away up the street 
with all possible speed, and was standing 
in front of the house door when he was 
suddenly struck by the thought of what 

3a— 2 



1 80 ADAM AND E VE. 

had become of Eve. Since they had halted 
in front of the Three Pilchards, he had 
seen nothing of her ; she had disappeared, 
and in all probability had made her way 
home. 

The thought of having to confront her 
caused him to hesitate : should he go in ? 
What else could he do ? where had he to go ? 
So, with a sort of desperation, he pushed 
open the door and found himself within 
the sitting-room. It was empty ; the fire 
had burnt low, the wick of the unsnuffed 
candle had grown long — evidently Eve 
had not returned ; and with an undefined 
mixture of regret and relief Adam sat 
down, leaned his arms on the table, and 
laid his head upon them. 

During the whole day the various excite- 
ments he had undergone had so kept his 
mind on the stretch that its powers of keen 
susceptibility seemed now thoroughly ex- 



ADAM AND EVE. 181 

hausted, and in place of the acute pain he 
had previously suffered there had come 
a dull, heavy weight of despair, before 
which his usual force and determination 
seemed vanquished and powerless. The 
feeling uppermost was a sense of the in- 
justice inflicted on him ; that he, who in 
practice and principle was so far removed 
above his neighbours, should be made to 
suffer for their follies and misdeeds, should 
have to bear the deo^radation of their vices. 
As to any hope of reclaiming them, he had 
long ago given that up, though not without 
a certain disappointment in the omniscience 
of that Providence which could refuse the 
co-operation of his valuable agency. 

Adam suffered from that strong belief 
in himself which is apt, when carried to 
excess, to throw a shadow on the highest 
quahties. Outstepping the Pharisee, who 
thanked God that he was not like other 



182 ADAM AND E VE. 

men, Adam thanked himself, and fed his 
vanity, by the assurance that had the Pol- 
peiTo folk followed his lead, and his advice, 
they would now be walking in his foot- 
steps ; instead of which they had despised 
him as a leader, and rejected him as a 
counsellor, so that, exasperated by their 
ignorance and stung by their ingratitude, 
he had cast them off and abandoned them 
for ever ; and out of this disappointment 
had arisen a dim shadow of some far-off 
future, wherein he caught glimpses of a 
new life, filled with fresh hopes and suc- 
cessful endeavours. 

From the moment his heart had opened 
towards Eve, her image seemed to be as- 
sociated with these hitherto undefined 
longings ; by the light of her love, of her 
presence, her companionship, all that had 
been vague seemed to take shape and grow 
into an object which was real, and a pur- 



ADAM AND E VE. 183 

pose to be accomplished ; so that now one 
of the sharpest pricks from the thorn of 
disappointment came of the knowledge 
that this hope was shattered, and this 
dream must be abandoned. And, lost in 
moody retrospection, Adam sat stabbing 
desire with the sword of despair. 

*Let me be — let me be !' he said, in answer 
to some one who was trying to rouse him. 

' Adam, it's me ; do look up !' and, in 
spite of himself, the voice which spoke 
made him lift his head and look at the 
speaker. ^ Adam, I'm so sorry ;' and Eve's 
face said more than her words. 

* You've nothing to be sorry for,' re- 
turned Adam, sullenly. 

* I want you to forgive me, Adam,' 
continued Eve. 

* I've nothing to forgive.' 

' Yes, you have ;' and a faint flush of 
colour came into her cheeks as she added, 



184 ADAM AND EVE. 

with hesitating confusion, 'You know 1 
didn't mean you to take what I said as 
you did, Adam ; because ' — and the colour 
suddenly deepened and spread over her 
face — 'because I do care for you — very 
much indeed.' 

Adam gave a despondent shake of his 
head. 

' No, you don't,' he said, steadily averting 
his eyes ; ' and a very good thing too. I 
don't know who — that wasn't forced to it 
— would willingly have anything to do with 
such a God-forsaken place as this is. I only 
know I'm sick of it, and of myself, and 
my life, and everything in it.' 

' Oh, Adam ! don't say that ; don't say 
you're sick of life — at least, not now ;' and 
she turned her face so that he might read 
the reason. 

' And why not now ?' he asked stolidly. 
' What have I now that I hadn't before r 



ADAM AND EVE. 185 



'Why, youVe got me.' 

* You ! You said you couldn't give me 
the love I asked you for.' 

' Oh, but I didn't mean it. What I said 
was because I felt so hurt that you should 
suspect me, as you seemed to.' 

' I never suspected you — never meant to 
suspect you. All I wanted you to know 
was that I must be all or nothing.' 

' Of course ; and I meant that too, only 

you but there, don't let's drift back 

to that again;' and as she spoke she leaned 
her two hands upon his shoulders and 
stood lookino: down. ^What I want to 
say is that every bit of love I have is 
yours, Adam. I am afraid,' she added 
shyly, ' you had got it all before ever I 
knew whether you really wanted it or 
not.' 

*And why couldn't you tell me that 
before V he said bitterly. 



186 ADAM AND EVE. 

^ Why, is it too late now T asked Eve, 
humbly. 

' Too late ! you know it can't be too 
late!' exclaimed Adam, his old irritability 
getting the better of him ; then, with a 
sudden revulsion of his over-wrought 
susceptibilities, he cried : ' Oh, Eve, Eve ! 
bear with me to-night ; I'm not what I 
want to be. The words I try to speak 
die away upon my lips, and my heart 
seems sunk down so low that nothing can 
rejoice it. To-morrow I shall be master 
of myself again, and all will look 
different.' 

' I hope so,' sighed Eve, tremulously. 
^ Things don't seem quite between us as 
they ought to be. I shan't wait for Joan,' 
she said, holding out her hand. ' I shall 
go upstairs now; so good-night, Adam.' 

'Good-night,' he said; then, keeping hold 
of her hand, he drew her towards him, and 



ADAM AND EVE. 187 

stood looking down at her with a face 
haggard and full of sadness. 

The look acted as the last straw which was 
to swamp the burden of Eve's grief. Control 
was in vain ; and in another instant, with 
Adam's arms around her, she lay sobbing 
out her sorrow on his breast, and the 
tears, as they came, thrust the evil spirit 
away. So that when, an hour later, the two 
said good-night again, their vows had 
been exchanged, and the troth that bound 
them plighted ; and Adam, looking into 
Eve's face, smiled as he said : ^ Whether 
for good luck or bad, the sun of our love 
has risen in a w^atery sky.' 







CHAPTER IX. 




OST of the actions and events of 
our lives are chameleon-liued ; 
their colours vary according to 
the light by Avhich we view them. Thus 
Eve, who the night before had seen nothing 
but happiness in the final arrangement be- 
tween Adam and herself, awoke on the 
following morning with a feeling of dis- 
satisfaction and a desire to be critical as to 
the rosy hues which seemed then to colour 
the advent of their love. 

The spring of tenderness, which had burst 



ADAM AND E VE. 1 89 

forth within her at sight of Adam's hiimi- 
Hation and subsequent despair, liad taken 
Eve by surprise. She knew, and had known 
for some time, that much within her was 
capable of answering to the demands which 
Adam's pleading love would most probably 
require ; but that he had inspired her with 
a passion which would make her lay her 
heart at his feet, feeling, for the time, that 
though he trampled on it, there it must 
stay, was a revelation entirely new and, to 
Eve's temperament, rather humiliating. 
She had never felt any sympathy with 
those love-sick maidens whose very exist- 
ence seemed swallowed up in another's 
being, and had been proudly confident that, 
even when supplicated, she should never 
seem to stoop lower than to accept. 
Therefore, just as we experience a sense 
of failure when we find our discernment 
led astray in our perception of a friend, so 



1 90 ADAM AND E VE, 

now, although she studiously avoided ac- 
knowledging it, she had the consciousness 
that she had utterly misconceived her own 
character, and the balance by which she 
had adjusted the strength of her emotions 
had been a false one. A dread ran through 
her lest she should be seized hold upon by 
some further inconsistency, and she re- 
solved to set a watch on the outposts of 
her senses, so that they might not betray 
her into further weakness. 

These thoughts were still agitating her 
mind when Joan suddenly awoke, and, after 
a time, roused herself sufficiently to say : 

'• Why, whatever made you pop off in 
such a hurry last night. Eve ? I runned 
in a little after ten, and there wasn't no 
signs of you nowheres ; and then I come 
upon Adam, and he told me you was gone 
up to bed.' 

' Yes,' said Eve ; ' I was so tired, and 



ADAM AND E VE. 191 



my foot began to ache again, so I thought 
there wasn't any use in my sitting up any 
longer. But you were very late, Joan, 
weren't you X 

' Very early, more like,' said Joan ; ' 'twas 
past wan before I shut my eyes. Why, I 
come home three times to see if uncle was 
back ; and then T wouldn't stand it no 
longer, so I went and fetched un/ 

* What, not from where he was !' 

exclaimed Eve. 

Joan nodded her head. 
' Oh lors !' she said, ' 'tain't the fust 
time by many ; ^ and,' she added, in a tone 
of satisfaction, ' I lets 'em know when 
they've brought Joan Hocken down 
among 'em. I had Jerrem out, and uncle 
atop of 'un, 'fore they knawed where they 
was. Awh, I don't stand beg^ofin' and 
pray in', not I ; 'tis "whether or no, Tom 
Collins," when I come, I can tell 'ee.' 



192 ADAM AND EVE. 

'Well, they'd stay a very long time 
before they'd be fetched by me/ said Eve, 
emphatically. 

' AAvh, don't 'ee say that now/ returned 
Joan ; ' where do 'ee think there'd be the 
most harm in then, sittin' comfortable at 
home, when you might go down and 'tice 
^em away, or the goin' down and doin' of 

itr 

' I've not a bit of patience with anybody 
who drinks,' exclaimed Eve, evading a 
direct answer. 

' Then you'll never cure anybody of it, 
tny dear,' replied Joan. ^ You'm like 
Adam there, I reckon, wantin' to set 
the world straight in one day, and all 
the folks in it bottommost side upwards ; 
but, as I tell un, he don't go to work 
the right way. They that can't steer 'ull 
never sail; and I'll bet any money that 
when it comes to be counted up how many 



ADAM AND E VE. 1 93 

glasses o' grog's been turned away from 
uncle's lips, there'll be more set to the 
score o' my coaxin' than ever 'ull be to 
Adam's bullyraggin'.' 

* Perhaps so/ said Eve ; and then, wish- 
ing to avoid any argument into which 
Adam could be brought, she adroitly 
changed the subject, and only indifferent 
topics were discussed until, their dressing 
completed, the two girls were ready to 
go downstairs. 

The first person who answered the sum- 
mons to breakfast was Uncle Zebedee, 
not heavy-eyed and shamefaced, as Eve 
had expected to see him, but bright, 
and rosy-cheeked as an apple. He had 
been up and out since six o'clock, looking 
after the repairs which a boat of his was 
laid up to undergo ; and now, as he came 
into the house, fresh as a lark, he chir- 
ruped, in a quavery treble — 

VOL. II. 34 



1 94 ADAM AND E VE. 

* " Tom Truelove woo'd the sweetest fair 
That e'er to tar was kind, 
Her face was of a booty rare." 

That's for all the world what your n is,' 
he said, breaking off to bestow a smacking 
kiss on Joan. ' So look sharp, like a good 
little maid as you be, and gi'e us sommat 
to sit down for ' ; and he drew a chair to 
the table and began flourishing the knife 
which had been set there for him. Then, 
catching sight of Eve, whose face, in her 
desire to spare him, betrayed an irrepressible 
look of consciousness, he exclaimed, ' Why 
they've bin tellin' up that I was a little 
over-free in my speech last night about 
you, Eve ; is there any truth in it, eh ? I 
doan't fancy I could ha' said much amiss, 
did I ?' 

' Oh, nothing to signify, uncle.' 
' 'Twas sommat 'bout you and Adam, 
warn't it?' he continued, with a puzzled 



ADAM AND EVE. 195 

air ; ' 'tis all in my head here, tlio' I can't 
zackly call it to mind. That's the divil o' 
bein' a little o'ertook that ways/ he added, 
with the assurance of meeting ready 
sympathy. '• 'Tis so bafflin' to set things 
all ship-shape the next mornin'. I minds 
so far as this, that it had somehow to do 
with me holdin' to it that you and Adam 
was goin' to be man and wife ; but if you 
axes for the why and the wherefore, I'm 
blessed if I can tell 'ee.' 

'Why, whatever put such as that into 
your head?' said Joan, sharply. 

' Wa-al the liquor, I reckon,' laughed 
Zebedee. 'And somehow or 'nother 
Maister Adam didn't seem to have over- 
much relish for the notion;' and he screwed 
up his face and hugged himself together 
as if his whole body was tickled at his 
son's discomfiture. ' But there, never 
you mind that, Eve,' he added hastily ; 

34—2 



196 ADAM AND E VE. 

^ there's more baws than wan to Polperro, 
and I'll wager for a half score o' chaps 
ready to hab ee without yer waitin' to be 
took up by my son Adam.' 

Poor Eve ! it was certainly an embarrass- 
ing situation to be placed in, for, with no 
w^ish to conceal her enofaofement, to an- 
nounce it herself alone and unaided by 
even the presence of Adam, was a task she 
naturally shrank from. In the endeavour 
to avoid any direct reply, she sat watching 
anxiously for Adam's arrival, her sudden 
change of manner construed by Zebedee 
into the effect of wounded vanity, and by 
Joan into displeasure at her uncle's undue 
interference. By sundry frowns and nods 
of w^arning, Joan tried to convey her ad- 
monitions to old Zebedee, in the midst of 
which Adam entered, and, with a smile at 
Eve and an inclusive nod to the rest of the 
party, took a chair and drew up to the table. 



ADAM AND EVE. 197 

' Surely,' thought Eve, ' he intends 
telhng them.' 

But Adam sat silent and occupied with 
the plate before him. 

' He can't think I can go living on here 
with Joan, even for a single day, and they not 
know it/ and in her perplexity she turned 
on Adam a look full of inquiry and meaning. 

Still Adam did not speak ; in his own 
mind he was casting over the things he 
meant to say when, breakfast over and the 
two girls out of the way, he would invite his 
father to smoke a pipe outside, during the 
companionship of which he intended taking 
old Zebedee decidedly to task, and, putting 
his intended marriage with Eve well to the 
front, clinch his arguments by the startling 
announcement that, unless some reforma- 
tion was soon made, he would leave his 
native place and seek a home in a foreign 
land. Such words and such threats as 



198 ADAM AND EVE. 

these could not be uttered to a father by a 
son save when they two stood quite alone, 
and Adam, after meetmg a second look 
from Eve, shook his head, feeling satisfied 
that she would know that only some grave 
requirement deterred him from immedi- 
ately announcing the happiness which 
henceforth was to crown his life. But our 
intuition, at the best, is somewhat narrow, 
and, where the heart is most concerned, 
most faulty; therefore Eve, and Adam too, 
felt each disappointed in the other's want 
of acquiescence, and inclined to be critical 
on the lack of mutual sympathy. 

Suddenly the door opened and in walked 
Jerrem, smiling and apparently more radi- 
ant than usual, under the knowledge that 
he was more than usually an offender. 
Joan, who had her own reasons for being 
very considerably put out with him, was 
not disposed to receive him very graciously. 



ADAM AND EVE. 199 

Adam vouchsafed him no notice whatever. 
Uncle Zebedee, oppressed by the sense of 
former good-fellowship, thought it discreet 
not to evince too much cordiality, so that 
the onus of the morning's welcome was 
thrown upon Eve, who, utterly ignorant of 
any offence Jerrem had given, thought it 
advisable to make amends for the pettish 
impatience she feared she had been betrayed 
into on the previous morning. 

Old Zebedee, whose resolves seldom 
lasted over ten minutes, soon fell into the 
swinof of Jerrem's flow of talk : a little 
later on, and Joan was forced to put in a 
word, so that the usual harmony was just 
beo-innino: to recover itself when, in answer 
to a remark which Jerrem had made. Eve 
managed to turn the laugh so cleverly back 
upon him that Zebedee, well-pleased to see 
what good friends they were growing, ex- 
claimed : 



200 ADAM AND EVE. 

* Stop her mouth ! stop her mouth, lad ! 
I'd ha' done it, when I was your years, 
twenty times over 'fore this. Hers too 
sarcy — too sarcy by half, her is !' 

Up started Jerrem^ but Adam was be- 
fore him. 

' I don't know whether what I'm going 
to say is known to anybody here already,' 
he burst out, ^but I think it's high time 
that some present should be told by me 
that Eve has promised to be my wife/ and 
turning, he cast a look of angry defiance 
at Jerrem, who, thoroughly amazed, gradu- 
ally sank down and took possession of his 
chair again, while old Zebedee went through 
the dumb show of giving a long whistle, 
and Joan, muttering an unmeaning some- 
thing, ran hastily out of the room. Eve, 
angry and confused, turned from white to 
red, and from red to white. 

A silence ensued — one of those pauses 



ADAM AND EVE. 201 

when some event of our lives seems 
turned into a gulf to separate us from our 
former surroundino-s. 

Adam was the first to speak, and, with 
a touch of irony, he said : 

^ You're none of you very nimble at 
wishing us joy, I fancy.' 

* And no wonder, you've a tooked us all 
aback so,' said old Zebedee ; ' 't seems to 
me I'm foaced to turn it round and round 
afore I can swaller it for rale right-down 
truth.' 

' Why, is it so very improbable then V 
asked Adam, already repenting the abrupt- 
ness of the disclosure. 

' Wa-al, 'twas no later than last night that 
you was swearin agen, and cussin every- 
body from stem to starn, for so much as 
mentionin' it as likely. Now,' he added, 
with as much show of displeasure as his 
cheery, weather-beaten old face would ad- 



202 ADAM AND EVE. 

mit of, ^ I'll tell 'ee the mind I've got 
to'ards these sort o' games : if you see fit 
to board folks in the smoke, why do it, and 
no blame to 'ee ; but hang me if I can 
stomach 'ee sailin' under false colours !' 

* There wasn't anything of false colours 
about us, father/ said Adam, in a more 
conciliatory tone ; ^ for though I had cer- 
tainly spoken to Eve, it was not until after 
I'd parted with you last night that she 
gave me her answer.' 

' Awh !' said the old man, only half pro- 
pitiated. ^ Wa-all, I s'pose you can settle 
your consarns without my help ; but I can 
tell 'ee this much, that if my Joanna had 
took so long afore she could make her 
mind up, I'm blamed if her ever should 
ha' had the chance o' bein' your mother, 
Adam, so there.' 

Adam bit his lip with vexation. 

' There's no need for me to enter upon 



ADA AT AND E VE. 203 

any further explanations/ he said ; ' Eve's 
satisfied, I'm satisfied, so I don't see why 
you shouldn't be satisfied.' 

* Awh, I'm satisfied enough/ said 
Zebedee ; ^ and so far as that goes, though 
I ain't much of a hand at speechifyin', I 
hopes that neither of 'ee 'nil never have 
no raison to repent yer bargain. Eve's a 
fine boAverly maid, so you'm well matched 
there ; and so long as she's ready to listen 
to all you say and bide by all you tells her, 
why, 'twill be set fair and sail easy.' 

^ I can assure you Eve isn't prepared to 
do anything of the sort. Uncle Zebedee !' 
exclaimed Eve, unable to keep silence any 
longer. ' I've always been told if I'd 
nothing else I've got the Pascals' temper, 
and that, according to your own showing, 
isn't very fond of sitting quiet and being 
rode over rough-shod.' 

The whistle which Uncle Zebedee had 



204 ADAM AND EVE. 

tried to choke at its birth now came out 
shrill, long, and expressive ; and Adam, 
jumping up, said : 

' Come, come, Eve, w^e've had enough of 
this ; surely there isn't any need to take 
such idle talk as serious matter? If you 
and me hadn't seen some good in one 
another we shouldn't have taken each 
other, I suppose ; and, thank the Lord, 
we haven't to please anybody but our two 
selves.' 

^ Wa-al, 'tis to be hoped you'll find that 
task asier than it looks,' retorted Uncle 
Zebedee, with a touch of sarcasm, while 
Jerrem, after watching Adam go out, 
endeavoured to throw a tone of regfret into 
the flattering nothings he now whispered 
by way of congratulation ; but Eve turned 
impatiently away from him. She had no 
further inclination to talk or to be talked 
to ; and Uncle Zebedee having by this 



ADAM AND EVE. 205 



time sought solace in a pipe, Jerrem joined 
him outside, and the two sauntered away 
together towards the quay. 

Left to the undisturbed indulgence of 
her own reflections, Eve's mood was no 
enviable one — the more difficult to bear 
because she had to control the various 
emotions struo-o-lmo^ within her. She 
felt it was the time for plain speaking 
between her and Adam, and rightly judged 
that a proper understanding come to at 
once would be the safest means of securing 
future comfort. Turn and twist Adam's 
abrupt announcement as she would, she 
could assign but one cause for it, and that 
cause was an overweening jealousy ; and 
as the prospect came before her of a life- 
time spent in the midst of doubt and sus- 
picion, the strength of her love seemed to 
die away and her heart grew faint within 
her. For surely if the demon of jealousy 



206 ADAM AND E VE. 

could be roused by the sight of common- 
place attentions from one who was in every 
way like a brother — for so in Eve's eyes 
Jerrem seemed to be — what might not be 
expected if at any time circumstances 
threw her into the mixed company of 
strangers % Eve had seen very little of 
men, but whenever chance had afforded 
her the opportunity of their society she 
had invariably met with attention, and had 
felt inwardly gratified by the knowledge 
that she was attracting admiration ; but 
now, if she gave way to this prejudice of 
Adam's, every time an eye was turned 
towards her she would be filled by fear, 
and each time a look was cast in her 
direction her heart would sink with 
dread. 

What should she do % Give him up % 
Even with the prospect of possible misery 
staring at her. Eve could not say yes; and 



ADAM AND E VE. 207 

before the thought had more than shaped 
itself, a dozen suggestions were batthng 
down the dread alternative. She would 
change him, influence him, convert him, 
anything but give him up or give in to 
him. She forgot how much easier it is to 
conceive plans than to carry them out ; to 
arrange speeches than to utter them. She 
forgot that only the evening before, when, 
an opportunity being afforded, she had 
resolved upon telling Adam the Avhole 
circumstance of Keuben May, and the 
promise made between them, while the 
words were yet on her lips she had drawn 
them back, because Adam had said he 
knew that the promise was ' nothing but 
the promise of a letter;' and Eve's courage 
had suddenly given way, and by her 
silence she had led him to conclude that 
nothing else had passed between them. 
Joan had spoken of the envious grudge 



208 ADAM AND E VE. 

which Adam had borne towards Jerrem, 
because he had shared in his mother's heart, 
so that this was not the first time Adam 
had dropped in gall to mingle with the 
cup of his love. The thought of Joan 
brought the fact of her unexplained dis- 
appearance to Eve's mind, and, full of 
compunction at the bare suspicion of 
having wounded that generous heart. Eve 
jumped up, with the intention of seeking 
her and of bringing about a satisfactory- 
explanation. She had not far to go before 
she came upon Joan, rubbing and scrub- 
bing away as if the welfare of all Polperro 
depended on the amount of energy she 
could throw into her work. Her face was 
flushed and her voice unsteady, the natural 
consequence of such violent exercise, and 
which Eve's approach but seemed to lend 
greater force to. 

' Joan, I want to speak to you.' 



ADAM AND EVE. 209 

'Awh, my dear, I can't listen to no 
speakin' now,' replied Joan, hastily, *and 
the tables looking as they do.' 

' But Tabithy always scrubs the tables, 
Joan ; why should you do it V 

^ Tabithy's arms ain't half so young as 
mine, worse luck for me or for she.' 

Having by this time gained a little 
insight into Joan's peculiarities. Eve 
argued no further, but set herself down 
on a convenient seat, waiting for the time 
when the rasping sound of the brush 
would come to an end. Her patience was 
put to no very great tax, for after a few 
minutes Joan flung the brush along the 
table, exclaiming : 

* Awh, drabbit the ole scrubbin', I must 
give over. I b'lieve I've had enuf of it 
for this time, 't all events.' 

* Joan, you ain't hurt with me, are you,' 
said Eve, trying to push her into the seat 

VOL. II. 35 



210 ADAM AND EVE, 

from which she had just risen. * I wanted 
to be the first to tell you, only that Adam 
spoke as he did, and took all I was going 
to say out of my mouth ; it leaves you to 
think me dreadfully sly.' 

'Awh, there wasn't much need for tellin' 
me/ said Joan, with a sudden relax of 
maimer. ^ When I didn't shut my eyes o' 
purpose I could tell, from' the first, what 
was certain to happen.' 

^ It was more than I could, then,' said 
Eve. ^ I hadn't given it a thought that 
Adam meant to speak to me, and when he 
asked me I was quite taken aback, and 
said *'no " for ever so long.' 

'What made 'ee change yer mind so 
suddent, then '?' said Joan, bluntly. 
Eve hesitated. 

' I hardly know,' she said, with a little 
confusion. * I think it was seeing him so 
cast down made me feel so dreadfully sorry.' 



ADAM AND EVE. 211 

* H'm/ said Joan, ' didn't 'ee never feel 
no sorrow for t'other poor chap that wanted 
to have 'ee, he to London — Keuben May V 

' Not enouo'h to make me care in that 
way for him, I certainly never did.' 

* And you do care for Adam, then ?' 
' I think I do.' 

' Think r 

' Well, I am sure I do.' 

' That's better. Well, Eve, I'll say this 
far ' — and Joan gave a sigh before the other 
words would come out, ' I'd rather it should 
be you than anybody else I ever saw.' 

The struggle with which these words 
were said, their tone, and the look in 
Joan's face, seemed to reveal a state of 
feeling which Eve had not suspected ; 
throwing her arms round her, she cried out : 

' Oh, Joan ! why didn't he choose you ? 
you would have been much better for him 
than me.' 

35—2 



212 ADAM AND EVE, 

' Lord bless the maid !' and Joan tried 
to laugh through her tears, ' I wouldn't 
ha' had 'un if he'd axed me. Why, there'd 
ha' bin murder 'tween us 'fore a month 
was out ; us 'ud ha' bin hung for one 'nother. 
No ; now don't 'ee take no such stuff as 
that into yer head, 'cos there's no sense in 
it. Adam's never looked 'pon me not more 
than a sister ;' and, breaking down, Joan 
sobbed hysterically ; ^ and when you two's 
married I shall feel 'zackly as if he was a 
brother, and be gladder than e'er a one else 
to see how happy you makes un.' 

* That's if I do make him happy,' said 
Eve, sadly. 

' There's no fear but you'll do that,' said 
Joan, resolutely wiping the tears from her 
eyes ; ' and 'twill be your own fault if you 
hain't happy too yourself. Eve. Adam's 
got his fads to put up with, and his fancies 
same as other men have, and a masterful 



ADAM AND EVE, 213 

temper to keep under, as nobody can tell 
better than me ; but for rale right-down 
goodness, I shouldn't knaw where to match 
his fellow — not if I was to search the place 
through ; and, mind 'ee, after all, that's 
somethin' to be proud of in the man you've 
got to say Maister to.' 
Eve gave a little smile. 

* But he must let me be mistress, you 
know, Joan.' 

* All right ; only don't you stretch that 
too far,' said Joan, warningly, ' or no good 
'ull come of it ; and be foreright in all 
you do, and spake the truth to un. I've 
many a time wished I could, but with this 
to hide o' that one's, and that to hush up 
o' t'others, I know he holds me for a down- 
right Hard ; and so I am by his measure, I 
'spects.' 

' I'm sure you're nothing of the sort, 
Joan,' said Eve ; ' Adam's always saying 



214 ADAM AND EVE, 

how much people think of you. He told 
me only yesterday that he was certain 
more than half the men of the place had 
asked you to marry them/ 

^ Did he '?' said Joan, not wholly dis- 
pleased that Adam should hold this 
opinion. ' Ah, and ax they may, I reckon, 
afore I shall find a man to say '^ Yes " to.' 

^ That is what I used to think myself,' 
said Eve. 

' Iss, and so you found it, till Roger put 
the question,' replied Joan, decisively. 
Then, after a minute's pause, she added, 
'What be 'ee goin' to do 'bout the poor 
sawl to London, then — eh ? You must 
tell he somehow.' 

'Oh! I don't see that,' said Eve. 'I 
mean to write to him, because I promised 
I would, and I shall tell him that I've 
made up my mind not to go back, but I 
shan't say anything more ; there isn't any 



ADAM AND EVE, 215 

need for it that I see : at least, not yet 
awhile/ 

* Best to tell un all/ argued Joan. ' Why 
shouldn't 'ee ? 'Tis the same, so far as 
you'm concerned, whether he's killed to 
wance or dies by inches.' 

But Eve was not to be persuaded. 

* There isn't any reason why I should,' 
she said. 

' No reason T replied Joan. ' Oh, Eve, 
ray dear,' she added, ' don't 'ee let happi- 
ness harden your heart ; if love is sweet 
to gain, think how bitter 'tis to lose, and 
by all you've told me, you'll forfeit a better 
man than most in Beuben May.' 




CHAPTER X. 




I HE month of December was well 
advanced before Eve's letter 
had reached Reuben May. It 
came to him one morning when, notwith- 
standing the fog which reigned around, 
Reuben had arisen in more than usually 
good spirits — able to laugh at his neigh- 
bours for railing against weather which he 
declared was good weather, and seasonable. 
The moment the postman entered the 
shop his heart gave a great bound — for 
who but Eve would write to him ? — and no 



ADAM AND EVE, 217 

sooner had his eyes fallen on the hand- 
writing than his whole being rejoiced, for 
surely nothing but good news could be 
heralded by such glad feelings. With 
a resolute self-denial, of which on most 
occasions Reuben was somewhat proud, he 
refused himself the immediate gratification 
of his desires, and with a hasty glance laid 
the letter on one side, while he entered 
into a needlessly long discussion with the 
postman, gossiped with a customer, for 
whose satisfaction he volunteered a minute 
inspection of a watch which might have 
very reasonably been put off until the 
morrow ; and finally (there being nothing 
else by which the long- coveted pleasure 
could be further delayed) he took u^o the 
letter and carefully turned it first this side 
and then that, before breaking the seal and 
unfolding the paper. 

What would it say 1 That she was 



218 ADAM AND EVE. 

coming back — coming home ? But when ? 
how soon ? In a month — in a week — now 
at once '? In one flash of vision, Keuben 
saw the furniture polished and comfortably 
arranged, the room smartened up and 
looking its best, with a blazing fire and a 
singing kettle, and a cosy meal ready laid 
for two people ; and then all they would 
have to say to one another : on his part 
much to hear and little to tell, for his 
life had jogged on at a very commonplace 
trot, his business neither better nor worse ; 
but still, with the aid of the little sum his 
more than rigid economy had enabled him 
to save, they might make a fair start, free 
from all debt and able to pay their way. 

These thoughts only occupied the time 
which Keuben took to undo the compli- 
cated folds by which, before the days of 
envelopes, correspondents endeavoured to 
baffie the curiosity of those who sought to 



ADAM AND EVE, 219 

know more than was intended for tlieni. 
But what is this ? for Reuben's eyes had 
been so greedy to suck up the words that 
he had not given his mind time to grasp 
their meanino-. ' Not comino; back ! never 
— any — more ! ' 'I Hke the place, the 
people, and, above all, my relations, so very 
much that I should never be happy now 
away from them.' 

He repeated the words over again and 
again before he seemed to have the least 
comprehension of what they meant ; then, 
in a stupor of dull despondency he read on 
to the end, and learnt that all his hopes 
were over, that his life was a blank, and 
that the thing he had dreaded so much as 
to cheat himself into the belief that it could 
never happen had come to pass. And yet 
he was still Reuben May, and lived and 
breathed, and hadn't much concern beyond 
the thoui^ht of how he should best send the 



220 ADAM AND E VE. 

things she had left to Polperro — the place 
she never intended to leave — the place she 
now could never be happy away from. 

Later on a hundred wild schemes and 
mad desires wrestled and fought, trying to 
combat with his judgment, and put to flight 
his sense of resolution; but now, as in the 
first moment of death, with the vain hope 
of realising his loss, the mourner sits gazing 
at the inanimate form before him, so Reuben, 
holding the letter in his hands, returned 
again and again to the words which had 
dealt death to his hopes, and told him that 
the love he lived for no longer lived for 
him. For Eve had been very emphatic in 
enforcing this resolve, and had so strongly 
worded her decision that, try as he would, 
Reuben could find no chink by which a 
ray of hope might gain admittance — all 
was dark with the gloom of despair, 
and this notwithstanding that Adam 



ADAM AND EVE. 221 

had not been mentioned, and Keuben had 
no more certain knowledge of a rival to 
guide him than the jaundiced workings of 
a jealous heart. Many events had con- 
curred to bring about this blamable reti- 
cence. In the first place, the letter which 
Eve had commenced as a mere fulfilment of 
her promise, had grown through a host of 
changing moods ; for, as time went on, 
many a sweet and bitter found its way to 
that stream whose course did never yet run 
smooth; and could the pages before him 
have presented one tithe of these varied 
emotions, Reuben's sober nature would have 
rejoiced in the certainty that such an excess 
of sensitiveness needed but time and op- 
portunity to wear itself out. 

It was nearly two months now since it 
had been known all through the place that 
Adam Pascal was keeping company with 
his cousin Eve ; and the Polperro folk, one 



222 ADAM AND EVE. 

and all, agreed that no good could surely 
come of a courtship carried on after such 
a contrary fashion — for the two were 
never for twenty-four hours in the same 
mind, and the game of love seemed to re- 
solve itself into a war of extremes wherein 
anger, devotion, suspicion, and jealousy 
raged by turns, and afforded equal occasions 
of scandal and surprise. To add to their 
original difficulties, the lovers had now to 
contend against the circumstances of time 
and place, for, during the winter, from most 
of the men being on shore, and without oc- 
cupation, conviviality and merriment were 
rife among them, and from bell-ringing 
night, which ushered in Gunpowder-plot, 
until Valentine's Day was passed, revels, 
dances, or amusements of any kind which 
brought people together, were welcomed 
and well-attended. With the not unnatural 
desire to get away from her own thoughts, 



ADAM AND EVE. 223 

and to avoid as much as was possible the 
opportunity of being a looker-on at hap- 
piness in which she had no personal share, 
Joan greedily availed herself of every in- 
vitation which was given, or could be got at, 
and, as was to be expected, Eve, young, 
fresh, and a novice, became to a certain 
degree infected with the anxiety to partici- 
pate in most of these amusements. Adam 
made no objection, and, though he did not 
join them with much spirit and alacrity, he 
neither by word nor deed threw any obstacle 
in their way to lessen their anticipation or 
spoil their pleasure, while Jerrem — head, 
chief, and master of ceremonies — found in 
these occasions ample opportunity for trying 
Adam's jealousy and tickling Eve's vanity. 
Nettled by the indifference which, from 
her open cordiality, Jerrem soon saw Eve 
felt towards him, he taxed every art of 
pleasing to its utmost, with the determina- 



224 ADAM AND EVE. 

tion of not being baffled in his attempts to 
supplant Adam, who, in Jerrem's eyes, was 
a man upon whom fortune had lavished 
her choicest favours. Born in Polperro 
— Zebedee's son — heir to the Lottery — 
captain of her now in all but name, what 
had Adam to desire ? While he, Jerrem, 
belonged to no one, could claim no one, 
had no name, and could not say where 
he came from. Down in the depths of a 
heart in w^hich nothing that was good or bad 
ever lingered long, Jerrem let this fester 
rankle, until often, when he seemed most 
gay and reckless, some thoughtless word or 
idle joke would set it smarting. The one 
compensation he looked upon as given to 
him above Adam was the power of at- 
traction, by which he could supplant him 
with others, and rob him of their affec- 
tion, so that, though he Avas no more 
charmed by Eve's rare beauty than he was 



ADAM AND EVE. 225 

won by her coy modesty, no sooner did 
he see that Adam's affection was turned 
towards her, than he coveted her love, and 
desired to boast of it as being his own. 
With this object in view, he began by en- 
hsting Eve's sympathies with his forlorn 
position, inferring a certain similarity in 
their orphaned condition, which might well 
lead her to bestow upon him her especial 
interest and regard ; and so well was this 
part played, that before long Eve found her- 
self learning unconsciously to regard Adam 
as severe and unyielding towards Jerrem, 
whose misfortune it was to be too easily 
influenced. Seeing her strong in her own 
rectitude, and no less convinced in the 
truth of Jerrem's well-intentioned reso- 
lutions, Adam felt it next to impossible to 
poison Eve's ears with tales and scandals of 
which her innocent life led her to have no 
suspicion ; therefore, though the sight of 
VOL. II. 36 



226 ADAM AND EVE. 

their slightest intercourse rankled within 
him, he was forced to keep silent, knowing, 
as he did, that if he so much as pointed an 
arrow, every head was wagged at him, and 
if he dared let it fly home, every tongue was 
ready to cry shame on his treachery. 

So the winter wore away, and as each 
day lengthened, Adam found it more 
difficult to master his suspicions, to con- 
tend with his surroundings, and to con- 
trol the love which had taken complete 
hold and mastery of all his senses. With 
untiring anxiety he continued to dodge 
every movement of Jerrem and Eve — all 
those about him noting it, laughing over 
it ; and, while they thwarted and tricked 
him, making merry at his expense, until 
Jerrem, growing bold under such auspicious 
countenance, no longer hesitated to throw 
a very decided air of love-making into his 
hitherto innocent and friendly intercourse. 



ADAM AND EVE. 227 

Shocked and pained by Jerrem's altered 
tone, Eve sought refuge in Joan's broader 
experience by begging that she would 
counsel her as to the best way of putting 
a stop to this ungenerous conduct. 

* x\wh, my dear !' cried Joan ; ' unless 
you'm wantin' to see murder in the house, 
you mustn't braithe no word of it. 'Tw'ud 
be worse than death to Jerrem if t should 
iver come to Adam's ears : why, he'd have 
his hfe, if he swung gallows-high for takin' 
of it ; so, like a good maid, keep it from 
un now, 'cos they'm all on the eve o' 
startin', and by the time they comes home 
agen Jerrem 'ull have forgot all about ee.' 

Eve hesitated. 

' I told him if ever he spoke like that to 
me again I'd tell Adam.' 

' Iss; but you won't do it, though/ returned 
Joan, * 'cos there ain't no manin' in what he 
says, you knaw. 'Tis only what he's told 

3G— 2 



228 ADAM AND EVE. 

up to scores and hunderds o' other raaidens 
afore, the rapskallion-rogued raskil ! and 
that Adam knaws, and's had it in his mind 
from fust along what game he was after. 
Us two knaws un for what he is, my 
dear ; wan best loved where he's least 
trusted/ 

' It's so different to the men I've ever 
had to do with/ said Eve. 

^ Iss, but you never knawed but wan afore 
you comed here, did 'ee ?' 

* I only knew one man well,' returned 
Eve. 

' Awh, then, you must bide a bit 'fore 
you can fathom their deepness,' replied 
Joan ; ' and while you'm waitin', I wouldn't 
advise 'ee to take it for granted that the 
world's made up o' Reuben Mays — nor 
Adam Pascals neither ;' and she ran to the 
door to welcome a cousin for whose approach 
she had been waiting, while Eve, worried 



ADAM AND E VE. 229 

and perplexed, let her thoughts revert to the 
old friend who seemed to have quite for 
gotten her ; for Reuben had sent no answer 
to Eve's letter, and thus had afforded no 
opportunity for tlie further announcement 
she had intended making. His silence, in 
terpreted by her into indifference, had hurt 
her more tlian she liked owning, even 
to herself; and the confession of their 
mutual promise, which she had intended 
making to Adam, was still withheld because 
her vanity forbade her to speak of a man 
whose affection she had undoubtedly ovei'- 
rated. 

Already there had been some talk of the 
furniture being sent for, and with this in 
view, the next time she saw Sammy Tucker 
she asked him if he had been to Fowey 
lately, and if he had seen anything of 
Captain Triggs. 

Sammy, as was his wont, blushed up to 



230 ADAM AND EVE. 

the eyes before he stammered out some- 
thing about having met ' un just for a minit 
comin' down by Place, 'cos he'd bin up there 
to fetch sommit he was goin' to car'y to 
London for Squire Trefry ; but that was a 
brave bit agone, so p'r'aps,' added Sammy, 
^ he's back by now, 'cos they was a-startin' 
away that ebenin'.' 

Eve made no other remark, and Sammy 
turned away, not sorry to escape further 
interrogation, for it had so happened that 
the opportunity alluded to had been turned 
by Sammy to the best advantage, and he 
had contrived in the space of ten minutes 
to put Captain Triggs in possession of the 
whole facts of Adam and Eve's courtship, 
adding that ^ folks said 'twas a burnin' 
shame o' he to marry she, and Joan Hocken 
fo'ced to stand by and look on, and her s' 
(indicating by his thumb it was his step- 
mother he meant) ^a tooked on tar'ible bad, 



ADAM AND EVE. 231 

and bin as moody-hearted as could be ever 
since/ 

Captain Triggs nodded his head in sym- 
pathy, and then went on his way, with the 
intuitive conviction that this bit of news, 
which he intended repeating to ' thickee 
chap in London,' w^ould not be received 
with welcome ; ' however,' he reflected, 
* 'tis allays best to knaw the warst, so I 
shall tell 'un the fust time I meets 'un, 
which is safe to be afore long, 'cos o' the 
ole gentleman,' meaning thereby an ancient 
silver watch, through whose medium Cap- 
tain Triggs and Reuben had struck up an 
intimacy. How Reuben blessed that watch, 
and delighted in those ancient works which 
would not go, and so afforded him an oppor- 
tunity for at least one visit ! 

Each time the Mary Jane came to 
London, Keuben was made acquainted 
with the fact, and the following evening 



232 ADAM AND EVE. 

found him in the little cabin, poring over 
the intricacies of his antique friend, whose 
former capabilities, when in the possession 
of his father, Captain Triggs was never 
weary of recounting. 

Standing behind Keuben, Triggs would 
nod and chuckle at each fresh difficulty that 
presented itself, delighting in the proud 
certainty that after all the London chap 
'ud find ^ the ole gentleman had proved wan 
too many for he ;' and when Keuben, de- 
sirous of further information, would prepare 
his way for the next visit by declaring he 
must have another try at him, Triggs, 
radiant but magnanimous,- would answer : 

" Iss, iss, lad ; do 'ee — come agen ; for 
'tis aisy to see with half a eye that 'tain't 
wan look nor two neither that 'ull circum- 
navigate the insides o' that ole chap, if 
'taint to his likin' to be set agoin." 




CHAPTEE XI. 




|T was some weeks after the receipt 
of Eve's letter that Reuben, 
having paid several fruitless visits 
to Kay's Wharf, walked down one afternoon 
to find the Mary Jane in, and Captain 
Triggs on board. The work of the short 
winter's day was all but over, and Reuben 
accepted an invitation to bide where he was- 
and have a bit of a yarn. 

' You've bin bad, haven't 'ee ?' Captain 
Triggs said, with friendly anxiety, as, seated 
in the little cabin, their faces were brought 
on a level of near inspection. 



534 ADAM AND E VE. 

' Me— bad X replied Reuben. 'No. Why, 
what made you think of that ?' 

' 'Cos you m lookin' so gashly about the 
gills.' 

^Oh, I was always a hatchet-faced fellow/ 
said Reuben, wondering, as he spoke, 
whether his lack of personal appearance 
had in any way damaged his cause with 
Eve, for poor Reuben was in that state 
when thoughts, actions, words, have but 
one centre round which they all seem un- 
avoidably to revolve. 

'But you'm wuss than ever, now. I 
reckon,' continued Captain Triggs, ' 'tis 
through addlin' your head over them clocks 
and watches too close, eh ?' 

' Well, perhaps so,' said Reuben. ' I 
often think that if I could, I should like to 
be more in the open air.' 

' Come for a voyage with me, then,' said 
Triggs, heartily. ' I'll take 'ee, and give 



ADAM AND E VE. 235 

'ee a shake-down free, and yer mate and 
drink for the aitin'. Come, you can't have 
fairer than that said now, can 'ee V 

A wild thouo^ht rushed into E-euben's 
mind. Should he go with him ? see Eve 
once more, and try whether it was possible 
to move her to some other decision ? 

' You're very kind, I'm sure,' he began, 
' and I feel very much obliged for such an 
offer ; but ' 

' There, 'tis nothin' to be obliged for,' in- 
terrupted Triggs, thinking it was Keuben's 
modesty made him hesitate. * We'm a 
hand short, so anywise there's a berth 
empty ; and as for the vittals, they allays 
cooks a sight more than us can get the rids 
of So I'm only offerin' 'ee what us can't 
ate ourselves.' 

' I think you mean what you're saying,' 
said Keuben — ' at least,' he added, smiling, 
* I hope you do, for 'pon my word I feel as 
if I should like very much to go.' 



236 ADAM AND EVE. 

' Iss, sure. Come along, then. Us shan't 
start afore next week, and you'll be to 
Bristol and back 'fore they've had time to 
miss 'ee here.' 

^Bristol ?' ejaculated Beuben. * I thought 
you were going to Cornwall again.' 

^ Not to wance, I ain't ; but wouldn't 'ee 
rather go to Bristol ? 'Tis a brave place, 
you know. For my part, I'd so soon see 
Bristol as London — 'tis pretty much o' the 
same look-out here as there.' But while 
Captain Triggs had been saying these 
words his thoughts had made a sudden leap 
towards the truth, and finding Beuben not 
ready with a remark, he continued : ' 'Tain't 
on no account of the young female you 
comed aboard here with, that's makin' 'ee 
think o' Cornwall, is it 1' 

' Yes, it is,' said Beuben, bluntly. ' I 
want to see her. I've had a letter from 
her^ and it needs a little talkin' over.' 



ADAM AND E VE. 237 

' Awh, then I 'spects there's no need for 
me to tell 'ee that her's took up with Adam 
Pascal. You knaws it already V 

Reuben felt as if a pike had been driven 
into his heart, but his self-command stood 
him in good stead, and he said quite 
steadily : 

' Do you happen to know him, or any- 
thing about him V 

* Awh, iss ; I knaws en fast enuf,' said 
Triggs, who felt by intuition that Keuben's 
desire was to know no good of him, * and a 
precious stomachy chap he is. Lord ! I 
pities the maid who'll be his missis ; whether 
gentle or simple, her's got her work cut out 
afore her.' 

' In what way ? How do ye mean V 

' Why, he's got the temper o' the old un 
to stand up agen, and wherever he shows 
his face he must be head and chief, and 
must lay down the law, and you must 



238 ADAM AND EVE. 

hearken to act by it, or else look out for 
squalls.' 

Reuben drew his breath more freely. 
' And what is he ?' he asked. 

^ Wa-all, I reckon he's her cousin, you 
know,' answered Triggs, misinterpreting the 
question ; ^ 'cos he's ole Zebedee's awnly 
son, and the ole chap's got houses and 
lands, and I dunno what all. But there, I 
wouldn't change with 'em ; for you knaw 
what they be, all alike — a drunkin', fightin', 
cussin' lot. Lor's, I cudn't stand it, I 
cudn't, to be drunk from mornin' to night 
and from night to mornin' ! ' 

' And is he one of this sort V exclaimed 
Reuben, in horror. ' Why, are her relations 
like that r 

' They'm all tarred with the wan brush, 
I reckon,' replied Triggs. ' If not, they 
cudn't keep things goin' as they do ; 'tis 
the drink carys 'em through with it. 



ADAM AND EVE. 239 



Why, I knaws by the little I've a-done that 
ways myself, how 'tis. Git a good skinful 
o' grog in 'ee, and wan man feels he's five, 
and, so long as it lasts, he's got the sperrit 
and 'nil do the work o' five, too ; then when 
'tis beginnin' to drop a bit, in with more 
liquor — and so go on till the job's over.' 

' And how long do they keep it up V said 
Reuben. 

* Wa-all, that's more than I can answer 
for. Let me see,' said Triggs, reflectively; 
* there Avas ole Zeke Spry, he was up 
eighty-seben, and he used to say he'd never 
that he knowed by, and could help, bin to 
bed not to say sober, since he'd comed to 
years o' discretion — but in that ways he 
was only wan o' many ; and after he was 
dead 't happened just as t' ole cha^i had 
said it wud, for he used to say, " When I'm 
tooked, folks 'ull get up a talk that ole 
Zeke Spry killed hisself with drink ; but 



240 ADAM AND EVE. 



don't you listen to it/' he says, ^^ 'cos' 'tain't 
nothin' o' the sort — he died for want o' 
breath, that's what killed he ;" and I reckon 
he was about right, else there wudn't be 
nobody left to die in Polperro.' 

' Polperro !' said Reuben ; * that's where 
your ship goes to V 

^ No, not ezactly ; T goes to Fowey : but 
they hain't over a step or so apart — a matter 
o' six miles, say.' 

There was a pause, which Captain Triggs 
broke by saying : ^ Iss, I thought whether it 
wudn't surprise 'ee to hear 'bout it bein 
Adam Pascal ; they'm none of 'em over- 
much took with it, I reckon, for they allays 
counted on 'im havin' Joan Hocken : her's 
another cousin, and another nice handful, 
by all that's told up.' 

Peuben's spirit groaned within him : 
' Oh, if I'd only known of this before,' he 
said, ^ I'd have kept her by force from 



ADAM AND E VE. 241 

going ; or if she would have gone, I'd have 
gone with her. She was brought up so 
differently/ he continued, addressing Triggs. 
' A more respectable woman never lived 
than her mother was.' 

' Awh, so the Pascals all be ; there's 
none of 'em but what's respectable and well- 
to-do. What I've bin tellin' of 'ee is their 
ways, you knaw; 'taint nothing agen 'em.' 

' It's quite decided me to go down and 
see her, though,' said Reuben. ' I feel it's 
what her mother Avould have me do : she 
in a way asked me to act a brother's part 
to her when she was dying, for she didn't 
dream about her having anything to do 
with these relations whom she's got among 
now.' 

' Wa-all, 'twas a thousand pities you let 
her go then,' said Triggs, * and though 
I'm not wantin' to hinder 'ee — for you'm 
so welcome to a passage down to Fowey as 

VOL. II. 37 



242 ADAM AND EVE. 

you be round to Bristol — still, don't it 
strike 'ee that if her wudn't stay here for 
yer axin' then, her ain't likely to budge 
from there for your axin' now V 

' I can but try, though,' said Reuben, 
'and if you'll let me go when you're 
going ' 

' Say no more, and the thing's settled,' 
replied Triggs, decisively. ^ I shall come 
back to London with a return cargo, which 
'ull have to be delivered ; another wan 
'ull be tooked in, and that aboard, off us 
goes.' 

' Then the bargain's made,' said Reuben, 
holding out his hand ; 'and whenever you're 
ready to start you'll find me ready to go.' 

Captain Triggs gave the hand a hearty 
shake in token of his willingness to perform 
his share of the compact ; and the matter 
being so far settled, Reuben made his neces- 
sary preparations, and with all the patience 



ADAM AND EVE. 243 

he could summon to his aid, endeavoured to 
wait with calmness the date of departure. 

While Keuben was waiting in London, 
activity had begun to stir again in Polperro. 
The season of pleasure was over; the men had 
grown weary of idleness and merry-making, 
and most of them now anxiously awaited the 
fresh trip on which they were about to start. 

The first run after March was always an 
important one, and the leaders of the various 
crews had been at some trouble to arrange 
this point to the general satisfaction. 

Adam's temper had been sorely tried 
during these discussions, but never had he 
so well governed it, nor kept his sharp 
speech under such good control ; the reason 
beinor that at lenolh he had found another 
outlet for his wounded sensibility. 

AYith the knowledge that the heart he 
most cared for applauded and sympa- 
thised witli liis hopes and his failures, 

37—2 



244 ADAM AND EVE, 

Adam could be silent and be calm — to 
Jerrem alone the cause of this altera- 
tion was apparent, and with all the lynx- 
eyed sharpness of vexed and wounded 
vanity, he tried to thwart and irritate 
Adam by sneering remarks and covert 
suggestions that all must now give way 
to him ; it was nothing but ' follow my 
leader ' and do and say what he chose — 
words which were as pitch upon tow to 
natures so readily inflamed, so headstrong 
against government, and impatient of every- 
thing which savoured of control ; and the 
further misfortune of this was that Adam, 
though detecting Jerrem's influence in all 
this opposition, was unable to speak of it to 
Eve. It was the single point relating to 
the whole matter on which the two kept 
silent, each regarding the very mention of 
Jerrem's name as a firebrand which might 
perchance destroy the wonderful harmony 



ADAM AND EVE. 245 

which for the last week or so had reigned 
between them, and which to both was so 
sweet that neither had the courage to 
endanger or destroy it. 

At length the day of departure had come, 
and as each hour broui^ht the inevitable 
separation closer, Eve's heart began to dis- 
cover itself more openly, and she no longer 
diso-uised or hid from those around that her 

o 

love, her hojDes, her fears were centred upon 
Adam. 

In vain did Jerrem try, by the most 
despairing looks and despondent sighs, to 
attract her attention, and entice her to an 
interview. Away from Adam's side or, 
Adam absent, from Joan s company. Eve 
would not stir, until Jerrem, driven into 
downright ill-humour, was forced to take 
refuge in sullen silence. 

It had been decided that the Lotteru was 
to start in the evening, and the day had 



246 ADAM AND EVE. 

been a bus}^ one ; but towards the end of 
the afternoon, Adam managed to spare a 
little time, which was to be devoted to Eve 
and to saying the farewell which in reality 
was then to take place between them. 

In order to ensure a certain amount of 
privacy, it had been arranged that Eve 
should go to an opening some half-way up 
Talland Lane, and there await Adam's 
approach, which he Avould make by scram- 
bling up from under the cliff, and so across 
to where she could see and come to meet 
him. 

Accordingly, as soon as five o'clock had 
struck, Eve, who had been fidgeting about 
for some time, got up and said : 

* Joan, if Jerrem comes in, you w^on't tell 
where I've gone, will you V 

'■ Well, seein' I don't knaw the where- 
abouts of it myself, I should be puzzled,' 
said Joan. 



ADAJf AND EVE. 247 

* I'm goiii' up Talland Lane to meet 
Adam/ faltered Eve ; ' and as it's to say 
good-bye, I — we don't want anybody else, 
you see/ 

The tremulous tone of the last few words 
laade Joan turn round, and looking at 
Eve, she saw that the gathered tears were 
ready to fall from her eyes. Joan had felt 
a desire to be sharp in speech, but the sight 
of Eve's face melted her anger at once, 
and with a sudden change of manner, she 
said : 

' Why, bless the maid, what's there to 
cry about ? You'm a nice one, I just say, 
to be a sailor's wife I Lor's, don't let 'em 
see that you frets to see their backs, or 
they'll be gettin' it into their heads next 
that they'm somebodys and we can't live 
without 'em ! They'll come back soon 
enoufjh, and a sii^ht too soon for a £{Ood 
many here, I can tell 'ee.' 



248 ADAM AND EVE. 

Eve shook her head. 

* But will they come back ?' she said 
despairingly. ' I feel something different 
to what I ever felt before — a presentiment 
of evil, as if something would happen. 
What could happen to them, Joan X 

* Lord bless 'ee ! don't ax un what could 
happen to 'em ? Why, a hunderd things — 
they could be wracked and drowned, or 
catched and killed, or tooked and hung;' 
then, bursting into a laugh at Eve's face of 
horror, she exclaimed, ^ Pack o' stuff, non- 
sense ! don't 'ee take heed o' no fancies nor 
rubbish o' that sort. They'll come back safe 
enuf, as they've allays done afore ; nothin's 
ever happened to 'em yet, what should 
make it now % TVorld ain't acomin' to an 
end 'cos you'm come down fra' London 
town. There, get along with 'ee, do,' and 
she pushed her gently towards the door, 
adding, with a sigh, ' 'T would be a poor tale 



ADAM AND EVE. 249 

if Adam was never to come back now, and 
it the first time he ever left behind un 
anything he cared to see agen.' 

Eve soon reached her point of observa- 
tion, and under sheher of the hedge she 
stood looking with anxious eyes in the 
direction from which Adam was to come. 
It had been a clear l)right day, and the air 
blew fresh and cool ; the sky (except to 
windward, ^\ here a few white fleecy masses 
lay scattered about) was cloudless ; the sea 
of a deep indigo-blue, flecked with ridges 
of foam, which unfurled and spread along 
each wave, crested its tip, and rode trium- 
phant to the shore. Inside the Peak, over 
the harbour, the gulls were congregated, 
some fluttering over the water, some riding 
on its surface, some flying in circles over 
the heights, now green and soft with the 
thick fresh grass of spring. Down the spine 
of the cliff" the tanale of briar-wood and 



250 ADAM AND EVE. 

brambles, though not leafless, still showed 
brown, and the long trails, which were 
lifted and bowed down as the sudden 
gusts of wind swept over them, looked 
bare and wintry. 

Eve gave an involuntary shiver, and her 
eyes, so quick to drink in each varied 
aspect of the sea, now seemed to try and 
shut out its beauty from before her. 

What should she do if the wind blew 
and the waves rose as she had seen them 
do of late, rejoicing in the sight, with 
Adam by her side ? but with him away, she 
here alone — oh, her spirit sank within her ; 
and, to drive away the thoughts which 
came crowding into her mind, she left her 
shelter, and hurrying along the little path, 
crossed the cress-grown brook, and was 
soon half-way up the craggy ascent, when 
Adam, who had reached the top from the 
other side, called out : 



ADAM AND EVE. 251 

' Hallo ! I didn't think to find you here. 
We'd best walk back a bit, or else we shall 
be just in the eye of the wind, and it's 
coming on rather fresh.' 

' You won't go if it blows, Adam V and 
Eve s face betrayed her anxiety. 

' Oh, my dear one,' he said kindly, ^ you 
mustn't think of the wind's having any- 
thing to do with me ; besides, it's all in our 
favour, you know : it'll rock us to sleep all 
the sooner.' 

Eve tried to smile back as she looked up 
at him, but it was a very feeble attempt. 

' I don't want to feel frightened,' she 
said, ' but I can't help it..' 

' Can't help what V 

' Why, thinking that something may 
happen.' 

* Oh, nonsense!' he said; 'there's nothing 
going to happen. It's because you care 
for me, you think like that. Why, look at 



252 ADAM AND EVE. 

me — ain't I the same % Before this, I never 
felt anything but glad to be off and get 
away ; but this time/ — and he drew a long 
sigh, as if to get rid of the oppression — ' I 
seem to carry about a lump of lead inside 
me, and the nearer it comes to saying 
good-bye the heavier it grows.' 

This sympathy seemed to afford Eve 
some consolation, and when she spoke 
again it was to ask, in a more cheerful tone, 
how long their probable absence would be % 
where they were going ? what time they 
would take in getting there ? to all of 
which Adam answered with unnecessary 
exactness ; for both of them felt they were 
talking, for talking's sake, of things about 
which they knew all they could know 
already. Yet how was it possible, in the 
light of open day, when at any moment 
they might be joined by a third person, to 
speak of that which lay deep down in their 



ADAM AND EVE. 253 

hearts, waiting only for a word, a caress, 
a tender look, to give it voice ? 

Adam had had a dozen cautions, en- 
treaties, injunctions, to give to Eve ; he 
had been counting through every minute 
of the day the time to this hour, and now 
it had come, and he seemed to have nothing 
to say, could think of nothing, except how 
long he could possibly give to remaining. 

* By J ove !' he exclaimed, as after more 
than an hour had slipped away — time 
wasted in irrelevant questions and answers, 
with long pauses between — when neither 
could think of anything to say, and each 
wondered why the other did not speak. 
' By Jove, Eve, I must be off ! I didn't 
think the time had gone so quick. We 
mustn't start at the furthest later than 
eisfht : and if I ain't there to look after 
them, nobody 11 think it worth while to be 
ready.' 



254 ADAM AND EVE. 

They were back under shelter of the 
hedge again now, and Adam (who possessed 
the singular quality of not caring to do his 
love-making in public) ventured to put his 
arm round Eve's waist, and draw her to- 
wards him. 

* You'll never let me go again,' he said, 
* without bein' able to leave you my wife, 
Eve, will you ? 'Tis that I b'lieve is pressing 
on me. I wish now more than ever that 
you hadn't persisted in saying no all this 
long winter.' 

' I won't say no next time,' she said, while 
the hitherto restrained tears began to fall 
thick and fast. 

Adam's delight was not spoken in words, 
and for the time he forgot all about the 
possibility of being overlooked. 

^ Then, when I come back, I shan't be 
kept waiting any longer ?' 

'No.' 



ADAM AND EVE. 255 

' And we shall be married at once f 

^Yes.' 

Adam strained her again to his heart. 

' Then come what may,' he said, ^ I shan't 
fear it. So long as I've got you, Eve, I don't 
care what happens. It's no good,' he said, 
after another pause. ' The time's up, and 
I must be off. Cheer up, my girl — cheer 
up ! Look up at me, Eve — that's a sweet- 
heart ! Now, one kiss more, and after that 
we must go on to the gate, and then good- 
bye indeed.' 

But the gate reached, and the good-bye 
said, Eve still lingered. 

^ Oh, Adam !' she cried, ' stop — wait for 
one instant !' 

And Adam, well pleased to be detained, 
turned towards her once more. 

' Good-bye, Adam, God watch over you !' 

' Amen, my girl — amen ! May He watch 
over both of us, for before Him we are one 



256 ADAM AND EVE, 

now, Eve ; we've taken each other, as the 
book has it, for better, for worse, for richer, 
for poorer, in sickness, and in health.' 

' Till death do you part,' said the sepul- 
chral tones of a voice behind the hedge, 
and with a laugh at the start he had given 
them, Jerrem passed by the gate, and went 
on his way. 




CHAPTER XII. 




EVERAL weeks had now passed 
by since the bustle of departure 
was over, and though no direct 
inteUigence had come from the absentees, a 
rumour had somehow spread abroad that 
the expected run of goods was to be one of 
the largest ever made in Polperro. 

The probability of this fact had been 
known to the leaders of the expedition be- 
fore they started, and had afforded Adam 
another opportunity for impressing upon 
them the great necessity for increased 
caution. 

VOL. II. 38 



258 ADAM AND EVE, 

Grown suspicious at the supineness 
which generally pervaded the revenue de- 
partment, the Government had decided 
upon a complete revolution, and during 
the winter months the entire force of the 
coast had been everywhere superseded, and 
in many places increased. Both at Looe 
and Fowey the cutters had new officers and 
crews, and the men, inflamed with the zeal 
of new-comers, were most ardent to make 
a capture and so prove themselves worthy 
of the post assigned to them. 

While all his comrades had affected to 
laugh at these movements, Adam had 
viewed them with anxiety, had seen the 
graveness of their import, and the disasters 
likely to arise from them ; and at length his 
arguments had so far prevailed that a little 
better regulation was made for the working 
of signals and insuring that they should be 
given and attended to if required. In case 



ADAM AND EVE. 259 

of danger the rule was to burn a fire on 
different heights of the cliff, and small huts 
were even erected for that purpose ; but the 
lighting these fires was often delayed until 
the last moment — what had become every- 
body's business was nobody's business — and 
secure that, in any case, the cruisers were 
no more willing to fight than the smugglers 
were wanting to be fought, hazards were 
often incurred which, with men whose 
silence could not be bought (for up to that 
time every crew had had its go-between), 
would most certainly have proved fatal. 

Upon the present force no influence 
could as yet be got to bear, and to prove 
the temper of their dispositions, no sooner 
was it known to them that three of the 
most daring of the Polperro vessels were 
absent, than they set to watching the place 
with such untiring vigilance that it needed 
all the sharpness of those left behind to 

38—2 



260 ADAM AND E VE. 

follow their movements and arrange the 
signals so that they might warn their 
friends without exciting undue suspicions 
among their enemies. 

Night after night, in one place or an- 
other, the sheltered flicker of the flame 
shone forth, as a warning that any attempt 
to land would prove dangerous, until word 
being suddenly brought that the cruiser 
had gone ofl" to Polruan, out went the fire, 
and, an answering light showing that at 
least one of the vessels was on the watch, 
when the morning dawned the Stamp and 
Go was in, and her cargo safe under water. 
The Lottery, she said, had contrived to 
decoy the revenue men away, hoping that 
by that means the two smaller vessels 
might stand a chance of running in ; but 
from their having to part company and 
keep well away from each other, the Stamp 
and Go — though certain the Cleopatra was 
not far off — had lost sight of her. 



ADAM AND EVE. 261 

The day passed away, the evening Hght 
had all but faded, when to the watchers 
the Cleopatra, with crowded sail and aided 
by a south-west wind, was seen trying to 
make the harbour, close followed by the 
cruiser. The news flew over the place 
like lio^htnino', and but a few minutes 
seemed to have passed before all Pol- 
perro swarmed the cliffs, each trying to 
secure a vantage-point by putting forth 
some strong: claim of interest in those on 
board. With trembling hearts and anxious 
gaze, the lookers-on watched each move- 
ment of the two vessels, a dead silence 
prevailing among them so long as they 
both followed in the same course ; but the 
instant a clever tack was made by which 
the pursuers were baffled, up rose the shout 
of many voices, and cries were heard and 
prayers uttered that the darkness would 
come quickly on and afford their friends a 
safe retreat. 



262 ADAM AND EVE, 

Except to such men as steered the 
Cleopatra, to enter Polperro harbour 
amid darkness and wind was a task 
beyond their skill; and knowing this, 
and seeing by their adversary's tactics the 
near possibility of defeat, the cruiser had 
resort to her guns^ trying to cut away the 
Cleopatra s gear, and by that means com- 
pel her to heave-to. But though partly 
disabled, the stout little vessel bore onwards, 
and night's friendly clouds coming to her 
aid, the discomfited cruiser had to with- 
draw, within hearing of the triumphant 
shouts which welcomed its rival's safety. 

With the exception of the Lottery, all 
was now safe ; but no fears were enter- 
tained on her account, because, from her 
superior size and her well-known fast sail- 
ing qualities, the risks which had endan- 
gered the other two vessels would in no way 
affect her. She had merely to cruise out- 



ADAM AND EVE. 263 

side, and await, with all the patience her 
crew could command, a fitting opportunity 
for slipping in, escaping the revenue men, 
and turning on them a fresh downpour of 
taunts and ridicule. 

In proof of this, several of the neigh- 
bourino' fishings-boats had from time to time 
seen and spoken to the Lottery; and with a 
view to render those at home perfectly at 
ease, every now and again one of these 
trusty messengers would arrive with a few 
words, which would be speedily circulated 
amono^ those most interested. The fact of 
their absence, and the knowledge that at 
any time the attempt to land might be 
made, naturally kept every one on the 
strain ; and directly night set in, both Joan 
and Eve trembled at each movement and 
started at every sound. 

One night, as, in case of surprise, they 
were settinof all thin<xs in order, a sudden 
shufflincr made Joan flv to the door. 



264 ADAM AND EVE, 

' Why, Jonathan I' she exclaimed, ad- 
mitting the man whom Eve had never 
seen since the evening after her arrival, 
' what's up ? "What brings you here, 
ehr 

' I've comed with summat for you,' he 
said, casting a suspicious look at Eve. 

' Well, out with it, then,' said Joan; quickly 
adding, as she jerked her head in that 
direction, ^ us don't have no secrets from 
she.' 

' Awh, doant 'ee !' returned Jonathan, in 
a voice which sounded the reverse of com- 
plimentary. * Wa-all, then, there's what 
'tis ;' and he held towards her a piece of 
paper folded up like a letter. 

* Who's it from ? Where did 'ee get un '?' 
asked Joan ; while Eve exclaimed, ' Oh, 
Joan, see is it from them ?' 

' I can't stay no longer,' said Jonathan, 
preparing to retreat. 



ADAM AND EVE. 2G5 

* But you must stay till we've made out 
what this here is,' said Joan. 

Jonathan shook his head. 

''Tain't nothin' to do with what I'm 
about/ he answered, determined not to be 
detained ; ' and I've got to run all the 
faster 'cos I've comed round this way to 
bring it. But Jerreni gived it to me,' he 
whispered, ' and Adam ain't to be tould 
nothin' of it ;' and he added a few more 
words, which made Joan release her hold 
of him and seem as anxious to see him 
gone as he was to go. 

The first part of the whisper had reached 
Eve's ears, and the hope which had leaped 
into her heart had been forced back by the 
disappointment that Jerrem, not Adam, 
had sent the letter. Still it might contain 
some news of their return, and she turned 
to Joan with a look of impatient inquiry. 

' I wonder whatever 'tis about,' said 



266 ADAM AND EVE. 

Joan, claiming the right of ownership so 
far as the unfolding the missive went. 
'Some random talk or 'nother, I'll be 
bound/ she added, wdth a keener know- 
ledge of her correspondent than Eve pos- 
sessed. 

' I'll warrant he's a nice handful aboard 
there 'mongst 'em all, with nothin' to do 
but drinkin' and dice-thro win' from mornin' 
to night. Awh laws I' she said, with a 
sigh of discontent, as the written pages lay 
open before her, ' what's the good o' sendin' 
a passel o' writin' like that to me ? 't might 
so well be double Dutch for aught I can 
make out o' any o' it. There ! take and 
read it, do 'ee, Eve, and let's hear what he 
says — a good deal more 'bout you than me, 
I'll lay a wager to.' 

' Then I don't know why he should/ said 
Eve. 

* No, nor I neither,' laughed Joan ; * but 



ADAM AND EVE. 267 

there ! I ain't jealous o' he, for as I'm 
Jerrem's cut-and-come-agen, his makin up 
to other maidens only leaves un more relish 
for comin' back to the dish he can stick 

by.' 

Eve's eyes had by this time run over the 

carelessly-written, sprawling page of the 

letter, and her face flushed up crimson as 

she said : 

^ I really do wish Jerrem would give 

over all this silly nonsense. He has no 

business to write in this way to me.' 

' To you !' exclaimed Joan, snatching 
back the letter to look at the outside. 
' Why, that ain't to you I' and she laid her 
finger on the direction. * Come now, 'tis 
true I hain't much of a scholard, but I'm 
blessed if I can't swear to my awn name 
when I sees un.' 

' That's only the outside,' said Eve ; ' all 
the rest is to me — nothing but a parcel of 



268 ADAM AND EVE. 

silly questions, asking me how he has 
offended me, and why I don't treat him as 
I used to, as if he didn't know that he 
has nobody but himself to blame for the 
difference/ 

^ And ain't there nothin' else ? Don't 
he send no word to me ?' asked Joan, 
ruefully. 

Eve, who was only too glad that poor 
Joan's ignorance prevented her reading the 
exaggerated rhodomontade of penitence and 
despair with which the paper was filled, 
ignored the first question. 

* He says,' she said, turning to read from 
the page, '' As you won't give me the 
opportunity of speaking to you, promise me 
that, when we meet, which will be to- 
morrow night " Oh ! Joan, can that 

be true ? Do you think he means really 
to-morrow night ?' then, running her eyes 
farther on, she continued : ' Perhaps he 



ADAM AND EVE. 269 

does, for — listen, Joan — '' You mustn't split 
on me to Adam, who's cock-a-hoop about 
giving you all a surprise ; and there'd be 
the devil to pay if he found out I'd blown 
the gaff." ' 

^ Now, ain't that Jerrem all over ?' ex- 
claimed Joan, angrily, anything but pleased 
at the neglect she had received. *Just 
flyin' in the face o' everything Adam wants 
done. He knaws how things has got 
abroad afore nobody could tell how ; and 
yet, 'cos he's axed, he can't keep a quiet 
tongue in his head.' 

' I tell you what we'll do,' said Eve : ^ not 
take a bit of notice of the letter, Joan, and 
just act as if we'd never had it; shall 
we ?' 

* Well, I reckon 'twould be the best 
way, for I shouldn't wonder but they be 
comin',' she added, while Eve, anxious to 
be rid of the letter, hastily flung it into 



270 ADAM AND E VE. 

the fire, and stood watching it blaze up and 
die out. ' Jonathan gave a hint o' some- 
thin',' continued Joan, ' though he never 
named no time, which, if he was trusted 
with, he knaws better than to tell of.' 

' I wonder they do trust him, though,' 
said Eve, ^ seeing he's rather silly.' 

* Awh, most o' his silly is to serve his own 
turn. Why, to see un elsewheres, you'd 
say he'd stored up his wits to Polperro, and 
left 'em here 'til he gets back agen ; and 
that's how 'tis he ferrets out the things he 
does, 'cos nobody minds un, nor pays no 
heed to un ; and if he does by chance come 
creepin' up, or stand anigh, " 'Tis only poor 
foolish Jonathan," they says.' 




CHAPTEH XIII. 




|HE sun, which came streaming in 
throuofh the windows next morn- 
ing, seemed the herald of coming 
joy. Eve was the first to be awakened, 
and she soon aroused Joan. ' It won't 
make no difference to them because the 
day's fine,' she asked ; ' will it, Joan V 

'Not a bit; they don't care a dump 
what the day is, so long as the night's 
only dark enough, and there'll be no show 
o' moon this week.' 

' Oh, I'm so glad,' said Eve, breaking 



272 ADAM AND EVE. 

out into a snatch of an old song which had 
caught her fancy. 

^ Awh, my dear, don't 'ee begin to sing, 
not till breakfast is over,' exclaimed Joan. 
^ " Sing afore you bite — cry afore night." ' 

' Cry with joy, perhaps,' laughed Eve ; 
still, she hushed her melody, and hastened 
her speed to get quickly dressed, and her 
breakfast over. That done with, the house 
had to be fresh put in order, while Joan 
applied herself to the making of various 
pies and pasties ; for ^ You see,' she said, 
' if they won t all of 'em be just ready for a 
jollification this time, and no mistake.' 

^And I'm sure they deserve to have 
one,' said Eve, whose ideas of merry- 
making were on a much broader scale now 
than formerly : it is true she still always 
avoided the sight of a drunken man^ and 
ran away from a fight, but this was more 
because her feelings were outraged at these 



ADAM AND EVE. 



sights, than because her sense of right and 
wrong was any longer shocked at the vices 
which led to them. 

'' 111 tell 'ee what I thiDk I'll do/ said 
Joan, as, her culinary tasks over, she felt at 
liberty to indulge in some relaxation ; ' I'll 
just run in to Polly Taprail's, and two or 
three places near, and see if the wind's 
bio wed them any of this news.' 

' Yes, do,' said Eve, '• and I shall go 
along by the Warren a little way, and look 
at the sea and that ' 

^ Lord save the maid!* laughed Joan, 
* whatever you finds in the say to look at 
I can't tell. I knaw 'tis there, but I niver 
wants to turn my eyes that way, 'ceptin' 
'tis to look at somethin' 'j)on it.' 

' Wait 'till you've been in a town like I 
have for some time,' said Eve. 

' Wait ! iss, I 'spects 'twill be wait 'fore 
my turn comes to be in a town for long. 

VOL. II. 39 



274 ADAM AND EVE. 

Awh, but I should just like to go to Lon- 
don, though/ she added ; ^ wouldn't I just 
come back ginteel !' and she walked out of 
the door with the imaginary strut such an 
importance would warrant her in assuming. 
Eve followed, and the two walked together 
down Lansallos Street, at the corner of 
which they parted — Joan to go to Mrs. 
Taprail's, and Eve along by the Warren 
towards Talland, for although she had not 
told her intention to Joan, she had made 
up her mind to walk on to where she could 
get sight of Talland Bay. 

She was just in that state of hope and 
fear when inaction becomes positive pain, 
and relief is only felt while in pursuit of an 
object which entails some degree of bodily 
movement. Joan had so laughed at her 
fears for the Lottery ^ that to a great extent 
her anxiety had subsided ; and everybody 
else seemed so certain that, with Adam's 



ADAM AND E VE. 275 



caution and foresight, nothing could possibly 
happen to them, that to doubt their safety 
seemed to doubt his wisdom. 

During this last voyage Adam had had 
a considerable rise in the opinions of the 
Polperro folk : they would not admit it too 
openly, but in discussions between twos 
and threes it was acknowledged that 
' Adam had took the measure o' they new 
revenoo chaps from the fust, and said they 
was a cunnin', decateful lot, and not to be 
dealt with no ways ;' and Eve, knowing the 
opposition he had had to undergo, felt a 
just pride that they were forced into seeing 
that his fears had some ground, and that 
his advice was worth following out. 

Once past the houses, and she deter- 
mined no longer to linger, but walk on as 
briskly as possible ; and this was the more 
advisable because the day was a true April 
one — sharp showers of mingled hail and 

39—2 



276 ADAM AND EVE. 

rain had succeeded the sun, which now 
again was shining out with dazzHng bright- 
ness. 

The sea was green^ and rippled over 
with short dancing waves, across which ran 
long slanting shadows of a bright violet 
hue, reflected from the sun and sky ; but 
by the time Eve reached a jutting stone, 
which served as a landmark, all this was 
vanishing ; and turning, she saw coming up 
a swift creeping shadow, which drew behind 
it a misty veil that covered up both sea 
and sky, and blotted them from view. 

' Oh my ! here's another hailstorm com- 
ing,' she said; and drawing the hood of her 
cloak close over her face, she made all haste 
down the steep bit of irregular rock towards 
where she knew that, a little way off the 
path, a huge boulder would aflbrd her 
shelter. 

Down came the rain, and with it such a 



ADAM AND E VE. 277 

gust of wind that, stumbling up the bit of 
dilf on which the stone stood, Ev^e was 
almost bent double. Hullo ! Somebody 
w^as here already, and, shaking back her 
hood to see who her companion in distress 
might be, she uttered a sharp scream of 
horror, for the man who stood before her 
was no other than Reuben May. 

' Then you're not glad to see me. Eve ?' 
he said, for the movement Eve had in- 
voluntarily made was to put out her hands 
as if to push him away. 

Eve tried to speak, but the sudden 
fright of his unexpected presence seemed 
to have dried up her throat and tongue, 
and taken away all power of utterance. 

*Your old chum, Capen Triggs, asked 
me how I should like to take a bit of a 
trip with him, and I thought as I hadn't 
much to keep me I'd take his offer ; and, 
as he's stopped at Plymouth for a day or 



278 ADAM AND E VE. 

SO, I made up my mind to come so far as 
here and see for myself if some of what 
I've been told is true.' 

^ Why, what have you been told ?' said 
Eve, catching at anything which might 
spare her some of the unpleasantness of a 
first communication. 

' Well, for one thing, that you're going 
to be married to your cousin.' 

Eve's colour rose, and Keuben, thinking 
it might be anger, said : 

' Don't make any mistake. Eve ; I haven't 
come to speak about myself All that's past 
and over, and God only knows why I ever 
got such folly into my head ;' and Beuben 
thought himself perfectly sincere in making 
this statement, for he had talked himself 
into the belief that this journey was under- 
taken from the sole desire to carry out his 
trust. * What I've come to do is to speak 
to you like a friend, and ask you to tell me 



ADAM AND E VE. 279 

what sort of people these are that you're 
among, and how the man gets his Hving 
that you're thinking of being married to V 

Eve hesitated, then she said : 

' There is no need for me to answer you, 
Keuben, because I can see that somebody 
already has been talking about them to 
you, haven't they V 

' Yes, they have ; but how do I know 
that what they've said is true V 

^ Oh, I dare say it's true enough,' she 
said ; ' people ain't likely to tell you false 
about a thing nobody here feels ashamed 
to own to.' 

' Not ashamed of being drunkards, law- 
breakers — thieves !' said Reuben, sternly. 

' Reuben May 1' exclaimed Eve, flaming 
up with indignation, and entirely forgetting 
that but a little time before she had held 
an exactly similar opinion, 'do you forget 
that you're speaking of my own father's 



•280 ADAM AND EVE. 

blood-relations — people who're called by 
the same name I am ? 

'No, T don't forget it, Ev^e ; and I don't 
forget neither that if I didn't think that 
down here you would soon become ruined, 
body and soul, I'd rather cut my tongue 
out than it should give utterance to a word 
that could cause you pain. You speak of 
your father, but think of your mother, 
Eve ; think if she could rise ap before you, 
could you ask her blessing on what you're 
going to do 1' 

Eve's face quivered with emotion, and 
Keuben, seizing his advantage, continued : 

* Perhaps you think I'm saying this 
because I'm wanting you for myself, but, 
as God will judge us, 'tisn't that that's 
making me speak, Eve/ and he held out 
his hand towards her. ' You've known 
me for many a long year now ; my heart's 
been laid more bare to you than to any 



A£>AM AND E VE. 281 

living creature : do you believe what I'm 
saying to you ?' 

'Yes, Eeuben, I do,' she answered 
firmly, though the tears, no longer re- 
strained, came streaming from her eyes, 
' and you must also believe what I say to 
you, that my cousin is a man as honest 
and upright as yourself, that he wouldn't 
defraud any one of the value of a pin's 
point, nor take a thing that he didn't think 
himself he'd got a proper right to.' 

' Good God, Eve ! is it possible that 
you can speak like this of one who gets his 
living by smuggling '?' and a spasm of posi- 
tive agony passed over Reuben's face as he 
tried to realise the chanGre of thoup^ht and 
feelinof which could induce a calm defence 
of such iniquity. * What's the difference 
whether a man robs me or he robs the 
king ? Isn't he stealing just the same V 

' No — certainly not I' said Eve, quickly. 



282 ADAM AND EVE. 

' I can't explain it all to you, but I know 
this — that what they bring over they buy 
and pay for, and certainly therefore have 
some right to/ 

^ Have a right to !' repeated Reuben. 
' Well, that's good ! So men have a right 
to smuggle, have they — and smuggling isn't 
stealing ? Come ! I should just like this 
cousin of yours to give me half an hour of 
his company to argue out that matter in.' 

' My cousin isn't at home,' said Eve, 
filled with a sudden horror of what might 
be expected from an argument between 
two such tempers as Beuben a,nd Adam 
possessed. ^ And if you've only come here 
to argue, whether 'tis with me or with 
them, Keuben, 'tis a waste of time that'll do 
no good to you, nor any of us.' 

Reuben did not speak. He stood, and for 
a few moments looked fixedly at her ; then 
he turned away, and hid his face in his 



ADAM AND E VE. ii83 

hands. The sudden chano^e from ano-er to 
sorrow came upon Eve unexpectedly — any- 
thing Hke a display of emotion was so 
foreign to Reuben that she could not help 
being affected by it, and after a minute's 
struggle with herself, she laid her hand on 
his arm, saying gently : 

' Keuben, don't let me think you've come 
all this long way only to quarrel and say 
bitter things to me ; let me believe 'tis as 
you said, because you weren't satisfied, and 
felt — for mother's sake — you wanted to be 
a friend to me still. I feel now as if I 
ought to have told you when I wrote that 
I was going to marry my cousin Adam, 
but I didn't do it because I thought you'd 
write to me, and then 'twould be easier to 
si^eak ; and when you didn't take no notice, 
I thought you meant to let me go alto- 
gether, and I can't tell you how hurt I felt. 
I couldn't help saying to myself over and 



284 ADAM AND EVE. 

over again (though T was so angry with 
you I didn't know what to do) — I shall 
never have another such friend as Reuben 
— never.' 

Eve's words had their effect, and when 
E-euben turned his pale face to her again, 
his whole mood was softened. 

' 'Tis to be the same friend I always was 
that I've come, Eve,' he said ; ^ only you 
know me, and how I can never keep from 
blurting out all at once things that I ought 
to bring round bit by bit, so that they might 
do good, and not give offence.' 

' You haven't offended me yet,' she said — 
^ at least,' she added, smiling in her old way 
at him, ^ not beyond what I can look over ; 
and so far as I can, and it Avill ease your 
mind, Reuben, I'll try to tell you all you 
care to know about uncle and — the rest of 
them. I'm sure, if you knew them, you'd 
like them, you couldn't help it, more particu- 



ADAM AND EVE. 285 

larly Joan and Adam — if you once saw 
those two.' 

'And why can't I see them, Eve? It 
wouldn't seem so very strange, being your 
friend — for that's all I claim to be — sfoinof 
there to see you, would it V 

' No, I don't know that it would ; only ' 
— and here she hesitated — ' whatever you 
saw that you didn't like, Reuben, you'd 
only speak to me about ? You wouldn't 
begin arguing with them, would you V 

Reuben shook his head. Then, with a 
sudden impulse, he said : 

' And have you really given all your love 
to this man, Eve V 

' * Yes,' she said, not averting her eyes, 
although her face was covered with a quick 
blush. . 

* And, whatever comes, you mean to be 
his wife V 

' I don't mean to be anybody else's wife/ 
she said. 



286 ADAM AND EVE. 

' And he — he cares for you ? 
' If he didn't, be sure I should have 
never cared for him.' 
Keuben sighed. 

' Well/ he said, ^ I'll go and see him. Ill 
have a talk with him, and try and find out 
what sort of stuff he's made of If I could 
go away certain that things ain't as bad as 
I feared to find them^ I should take back a 
lighter heart with me. You say he isn't 
home now. Is he at sea, then 1' 
* No, not at sea ; he's close by.' 
^ Then you expect him back soon V 
' Yes ; we expect him back to-night.' 
'To-night! Then I think 111 change 
my plan. I meant to go back to Ply- 
mouth, and see what Triggs is about to do, 
for I'm going round to London with him 
when he goes ; but if you're expecting 
your cousin so soon, why shouldn't I stop 
here till IVe seen him ? 



ADAM AND EVE. 287 

* Oh ! but he mightn't come/ said Eve, 
who in any case had no wish that Keuben 
should appear until she had paved the way 
for his reception, and, above all things, 
desired his absence on this particular occa- 
sion. 

* Well, I must take my chance of that — 
unless/ he added, catching sight of her 
face, * there's any reason against my stop- 
ping ?' 

Eve coloured. 

* Well,' she said, ' perhaps they mightn't 
care — as they don't know you — about your 
being here. You see/ she added, by way 
of excuse, ^ they've been away a long while 
now.' 

' Been to France, I s'pose,' said Reuben, 
in a tone which conveyed his suspicions. 

^ No,' replied Eve, determined not to 
seem ashamed of their occupation ; ' I 
think they've been to Guernsey/ 



288 ADAM AND EVE. 

' Oh, well, all the same, so far as what 
they went to fetch. Then they're going 
to try and land their cargo, I s'pose V 

' I don't know what they may be going 
to t7y and do,' and Eve endeavoured to 
imitate the sneer with which Keuben had 
emphasized the word, ' but I know that 
trying with them means doing. There's 
nobody about here,' she added^ with a bor- 
rowed spice of Joan's manner, ^ would care 
to put themselves in the way of trying to 
hinder the Lottery.' 

' 'Tis strange, then, that they shouldn't 
choose to come in open daylight, rather 
than be sneaking in under cover of a dark 
night,' said Reuben, aggravatingiy. 

^ As it happens/ retorted Eve, with an 
assumption of superior nautical knowledge, 
' the dark night suits them best, by reason 
that at high tide they can come in close to 
Down End. Oh ! you needn't try to think 



ADAM AND EVE, 289 

you can hurt me by your sneers at them,' 
she said, inwardly smarting under the con- 
tempt she knew Keuben felt. ^ I feel hurt 
at your wanting to say such things, but 
not at all at what you say. That cant 
touch me.' 

^ No, so I see,' said Reuben, hopelessly. 
Then, after a minute's pause, he burst out 
with a passionate, ' Oh, Eve ! I feel as if I 
could take and jump into the sea with you, so 
as I might feel you'd be safe from the life. 
I'm certain you're going to be dragged 
down to ! You may think fair now of this 
man, because he's only showed you his fair 
side ; but they who know him know him 
fur what he is — bloodthirsty, violent, a 
drunkard, never sober, with his neck in a 
noose, and the gallows swinging over his 
head. What hold will you have over one 
who fears neither God nor devil ? Yes^ 
but I will speak. You shall listen to the 

VOL. II. 40 



290 ADAM AND EVE. 

truth from me/ for she had tried to inter- 
rupt him. ' It isn't too late, and it's but 
fit that you know what others say of him !' 

Eve's ano-er had risen until she seemed 
turned into a fury, and her voice, usually 
low and full, now sounded hard and sharp, 
as she cried : 

^ Tf they said a hundred times worse of 
him, I would still marry him ; and if he 
stood on the gallows that you say swings 
over his head, I'd stand by his side and sa}^ 
I was his wife !' 

^ God pity you!' groaned Reuben. 

' I want no pity,' she said, ' and so you 
can tell those who would throw it away on 
me. Say to them that you sought me out 
to cast taunts at me, but it was of no use, 
for what you thought I should be ashamed 
of I gloried in, and could look you and all 
the world in the face,' and she seemed to 
grow taller as she spoke, ^and say I felt 



A£>AJl/ AND EVE. , 291 

proud to be a smuggler's wife,' and, turning, 
she made a movement as if to go ; but 
Reuben took a step so as to impede her. 

' Is this to be our parting V he said. 
' Can you throw away the only friend 
you've got left X 

' I don't call you a friend,' she said. 

* You'll know me for beincv so one day 
though, and bitterly rue you didn't pay 
more heed to my words.' 

* Never!' she said proudly. ^ I'd trust 
Adam with my life ; he's true as steel. 
Xow,' she added, stepping on one side, * I 
have no more time to stay. I must go 
back, so let me pass !' 

Mechanically^ Eeuben moved. Stung 
by her words, irritated by a sense of 
failure, filled with the sharpest jealousy 
acrainst his rival, he saw no other course 
open to him than to let her goher Avay, and 
to go his. 

40—2 



292 ADAM AND EVE. 

^ Good-bye, then, Eve,' he said, in a dry, 
cold voice. 

' Good-bye,' she answered. 

' I don't think, after what's passed, you 
need expect to see me again,' he ventured, 
with the secret hope that she would pause 
and say something that might lead to a 
fresh discussion. 

' I had no notion that you'd still have a 
thought of coming. I should look upon a 
visit from you as very out of place.' 

' Oh ! well, be sure I shan't force myself 
where I'm not wanted.' 

' Then you'll be wise to stay away, for 
you'll never be wanted where I am !' 

And without another glance in his direc- 
tion, she walked away, while Reuben stood 
and watched her out of sight. 

' That's ended,' he said, setting his lips 
firmly together and hardening the ex- 
pression of his naturally grave face. ' That 



ADAM AND EVE. 203 

mad game's finished, and finished so that I 
think I've done with sweethearting for as 
long as I live. Well, thank God ! a man 
may get on very fairly, though the woman 
he made a fool of himself for flings back 
his love, and turns him over for somebody 
else ;' then, as if some unseen hand had 
dealt him a sudden thrust, he cried out : 
' Why did I ever see her ? Why was I 
]nade to care for her ? Haven't I known 
the folly of it all along, and fought and 
strove from the first to get the better of 
myself ? and here she comes down and sees 
a fellow whose eye is tickled by her looks 
and he acts in a week what I've been 
begging and praying for years for ; and they 
tell } ou that God's ways are just, and that 
He rewards the good and punishes the evil;' 
and Eeuben's face worked with suppressed 
emotion, for in spirit he stood before his 
Creator and upbraided Him with, "' Lo I 



294 ADAM AND EVE. 

these many years have I served Thee ; 
neither transgressed I at any time Thy 
commandments ; and yet this drunkard, 
this evil-Uver, this law-breaker, is given that 
for which in my soul I have thirsted ;' and 
the devils of envy and revenge ran by his 
side rejoicing, while fate flew before and 
lured him on to where opportunity stood 
and welcomed his approach. 



END OF VOL. II. 



WLLIXG A>'D SONS, PRINTERS AND ELECTROTYPEUS, GUILDFORD. 

S. <L- H. 



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